Korn keeps his options open

Quarterback keeps his options open as he prepares to transfer from Tigers

pstrelow@thestate.comDecember 16, 2009 

Clemson Football Practice

Clemson quarterback Willy Korn throws a pass during the Tigers' first NCAA college football practice of the 2009 season on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009 in Clemson.

AP PHOTO/ANDERSON INDEPENDENT-MAIL, MARK CRAMMER

CLEMSON - Clemson backup Willy Korn has distributed his personal want ad to football programs of all divisions and prestige, including a list of references he said will vouch for the health of his right shoulder.

"If you're interested, please give me a call," Korn said. "Quarterback for sale."

That the ballyhooed former Byrnes High star would ever reach the open market surprises no one more than Korn, who became a Clemson fan in his youth and committed to the team before his prep junior season.

Korn, a redshirt sophomore with two years of eligibility remaining, practiced Tuesday for the first time since last week's announcement he intends to transfer upon graduating in May.

Offensive coordinator Billy Napier said Korn will remain the No. 2 quarterback through the Dec. 27 Music City Bowl in Nashville, and coach Dabo Swinney buried any question about a tense parting by disclosing that Korn had been invited back to work with the team during spring practice - thereby allowing Korn to get reps while giving Clemson another arm.

Korn declined to reveal what schools he is interested in or are interested in him, but he would like to have a decision made by the end of January so he can take trips there to begin building camaraderie.

There had been sentiment that Korn would prefer to remain close to home, but Korn said otherwise.

"If I have to go to a school no one has heard of in North Dakota, that's what I'll do," Korn said.

Korn said it would be his preference to land at a Football Bowl Subdivision program, but he understands that being unavailable for spring practice likely diminishes the odds one of those schools would offer him the opportunity to be the starter.

Korn underwent surgery last December to repair a frayed labrum as well as have bone fragments removed from his throwing shoulder.

He said that while his problems with passing mechanics in the spring were well-documented, he has not experienced any discomfort in the shoulder in months, and he believes he had regained his full arm strength by the middle of August.

A positive to not being the starter this year, Korn said, was that it allowed him to focus on individual improvement as it relates to footwork and throwing.

He said none of the schools he contacted have inquired about his arm strength, although Clemson's staff has offered to help him produce a practice video if necessary.

With his stint at Clemson coming to a close, Korn said there have been many instances when he wondered why his fortunes had taken such an unforeseen turn.

He reflected on when he and former Byrnes teammate Prince Miller (Georgia) were celebrated recruits and held a mutual press conference in August before his junior year to trumpet their college choices.

"I envisioned helping this program to national championships and winning BCS bowl games," Korn said. "But this happens to a lot of guys. Not everything happens how you like it to. But I feel that all the adversity I went through here, I'll be rewarded for it. Whether that comes in football, we'll see."

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