For a time, Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier junior Max Klare thought his football future was as a quarterback. That changed this season as a crowded quarterback room with three juniors, all capable of replacing the departed Matthew Rueve (Boston College), fought to be the starter.
When the season started, Klare accepted that he’d be the back-up to fellow junior Brogan McCaughey and looked to help the Bombers on the field however he could by moving to tight end.
“Looking back, I think it was the best decision for the team,” said the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Klare. “I was willing to make that happen, and when I did, I found a greater love for the game and found that I never loved the game as much as I did playing tight end. So it was a great move in the end for our team and me.”
The Bombers opened the season on the road against Brownsburg (Ind.) on ESPN, and Klare looked forward to showing what he could do. However, things took a sudden change that would have left many high school players looking for answers.
“I was excited for Week One,” said Klare. “We had a great game plan, and I had a catch early in the game. However, I didn’t expect a possible season-ending injury so early in the game. It left me a little devasted, knowing how hard I’d worked up to that point and for a time was tough to move forward from it.
“But I got over it and looked forward to the future and how much football I still had left to play in high school. Luckily, my rehab was quick, and I returned for the playoffs. Looking back, it all ended pretty well.”
During his rehab, Klare watched as the Bombers went 4-2 in the shortened Covid season. The team’s success had Klare itching to get back sooner than expected.
“Just seeing how much fun they were having and not being able to be out there with them pushed me,” he said. ” It made me do whatever I needed so I could be out there enjoying what they were enjoying. My recovery ended up being quicker than expected.”
“While Klare missed the first two playoff games, he did return for the Bombers match-up against Greater Catholic League rival Elder and getting a taste of what he was missing with one catch for a 24-yard touchdown in the Bombers impressive 56-28 win over the Panthers.
As the Bombers advanced to win a Division One state championship, Klare continued to show why several feel he’s a player to watch in the 2022 recruiting class.
“Honestly, it felt different as I was a little cautious,” Klare explained. “I remember the first play as it was a mixture of excitement and nervousness. But it was a good experience getting a few plays under my belt, and each game boosted my confidence as well.
“Each game helped me with my route running as it’s a lot different than throwing routes as a quarterback. Getting a feel in a game running, catching, and running after the catch with people trying to tackle you is different. I hadn’t had that feeling since eighth grade. So it felt different. However, I enjoyed it and know those four weeks will help me a lot for my senior year.”
This offseason, Klare is working on a plan he hopes will turn the heads of college coaches as they look at prospects in the 2022 recruiting class.
“I’ve got to get bigger, stronger, and faster,” he stressed. “I’m also needing to work on my route running, how to get open, how to run routes with tempo, and finding the holes in the defense so Brogan can hit me. I also need to become more intelligent at the tight end position.”
As a sophomore, Klare got a chance to watch the development of former Bombers tight end Marshall Lang (Northwestern) during his senior year and learned a lot.
“Marshall brought energy every day to the practice field and had fun playing the games,” he said. “Just watching Marshall opened my eyes to the tight end position. It was fun watching him and got me thinking when I moved to tight end.”
Klare, whose father Andy also played for the Bombers before a college career at Boston College (1988-91), is interested in following his father’s footsteps at the college level.
“With my dad having gone to Boston College, I’ve dreamed about going there and playing there since I was little,” he said. “But I’m also interested in schools like Indiana, Cincinnati, Miami, and Purdue. My cousin, Alex Maxwell, is currently at Purdue, and I’m going up to watch him this weekend. I’ve not given it a lot of thought, but some of the southern schools also interest me.
Another connection to Boston College is Eagles freshman quarterback Matthew Rueve.
“I’ve not talked with Matthew but plan on talking with him to see how he likes Boston College,” said Klare. “To get an offer from Boston College would be amazing. It’s a great school, and Boston is a cool city. It would be a big thing to happen. I’ve only gone up for one game, and that was when I was in Junior High. So it’s been a while.”
Klare is also a strong student with a GPA of 3.5-3.6 and is still open when thinking about what he’ll study in college.
Check out Klare from this past season with the following highlights.