The college football offseason is officially here, and the coaching carousel is in full swing. While most of the attention rightfully goes towards the head coaches, the right assistant coach hires can also completely change a team. Of all the assistant coach hires this college football offseason, Clemson made the biggest splash so far on Thursday.

The Tigers hired ex-TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, younger brother of USC head coach Lincoln Riley. After helping the Horned Frogs reach the National Championship, Riley now joins a Tigers team in need of a slight shakeup on offense.

Clemson’s offense was decent in 2022, but far from football championship-caliber. The Tigers finished fourth in the ACC in scoring, fifth in total and rushing offense and sixth in passing offense. Will Shipley had an outstanding season rushing, but DJ Uiagalelei and the passing game were just average, at best.

Meanwhile, Riley helped TCU’s offense become one of the best in college football this season. The Horned Frogs finished near the top of the country in many offensive stats (before their beatdown against Georgia in the National Championship Game). Riley did such great work that he won the Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the nation.

The Riley hire should do wonders for a Clemson offense that has been rather pedestrian the last two years. In particular, he should greatly help freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik, the Tigers’ future under center. Klubnik got some playing time at the end of the season, and despite some flashes, still looked very raw.

Without further ado, here is why Clemson’s Riley hire is fantastic for Klubnik.

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Why Clemson Football’s Garrett Riley hire is great news for Cade Klubnik

For starters, just take a look at the numbers Riley’s offenses have put up. He has three seasons as an offensive coordinator, at SMU in 2020 and 2021 and at TCU in 2022. In all three seasons, his offenses have finished in the top 15 in scoring and total yards (again, save for TCU’s performance in the National Championship Game).

Furthermore, the quarterbacks Riley has worked with have all improved dramatically under his guidance. The most obvious example is Max Duggan, who was just an average quarterback before Riley came to TCU and even began the 2022 season as a backup. With Riley as his OC, though, Duggan shattered his career-highs in yards and touchdowns and finished second in Heisman voting.

Riley was also a quarterback whisperer before he came to TCU. He worked his magic with now-former SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai in 2021, who had just transferred to SMU after three years as a backup at Oklahoma. Mordecai then exploded for 3,628 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2021, becoming one of the most prolific passers in the nation.

If Riley can turn these players into stars, imagine what he can do for a former five-star in just his second season. Additionally, he will have a much better cast around his quarterback, as Clemson has recruited at a far higher level than either of his previous schools. The addition of Riley should only further boost Clemson’s recruiting to a new level.

Simply put, all the pieces are in place for Klubnik to become a superstar under Riley’s guidance. The best part is that Riley will have multiple year’s to work with Klubnik, unlike his previous quarterbacks. If Riley works his magic again with Klubnik, Clemson will surely be back in the national championship picture.