Texas High School Football Star Named Player of the Year

Austin Westlake quarterback Cade Klubnik. | Image from Paul Brick/Austin American-Statesman

Cade Klubnik of Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, was named the 2021 MaxPreps National Player of the Year.

He is the sixth Texas player to win the honor, the first since Kyler Murray of Allen, who won the award back-to-back in the years 2013 and 2014. Murray is the current starting quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals and won the Heisman Trophy following his 2018 season at Oklahoma.

“Wow, what an honor!!” Klubnik posted on Twitter after the award was announced on Tuesday. “Thank you to Westlake and all my teammates and coaches throughout the years!!”

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior quarterback led the Westlake Chaparrals to a No. 2 final ranking in MaxPreps National High School Football Rankings with a perfect 16-0 record. The Chaparrals won their third consecutive 6A-Division II state championship with a 40-21 win over Denton Guyer in the title game.

Klubnik passed for 3,251 yards and 43 touchdowns while throwing only three interceptions and completing 189-of-265 (71%) passes. The quarterback also added 471 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing.

He posted impressive stats despite missing three games around the season’s midway point with an injury. Klubnik never lost as a starter for Westlake; he will graduate from Westlake with the school on 40-game win streak. Klubnik took over as the full-time starting quarterback in his junior year after splitting time as the starter in his sophomore season.

Klubnik is rated as the No. 1 quarterback in the nation and 18th overall prospect in the class of 2022 by 247Sports. The five-star quarterback is signed to Clemson University.

He will be teammates with the 2019 co-winner of the MaxPreps National Player of the Year award, junior quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei.

Uiagalelei shared the 2019 honor with current Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Another winner of the MaxPreps award includes current Tennessee Titans and former Alabama running back Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner.

Klubnik finished his career as Westlake’s all-time leader in passing yards (7,426) and passing touchdowns (86), passing school legends Drew Brees and Nick Foles. Klubnik completed 481-of-687 (70%) pass attempts while also rushing for 1,325 yards and 39 touchdowns.

“He’s special. He’s magic,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told the Greenville News last month about the crown jewel of his 2022 recruiting class. “He’s just incredibly accurate, can extend and create, and just has a great feel for where everyone is on the field. He’s a good one, and there’s a reason why he’s the No. 1 guy in the country. He’s proven and earned that, and every competitive environment he’s gone to, he’s risen to the top.”

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