Korn is on Marshall plan
Forgive Marshall fans if they have any doubts about quarterback Willy Korn. After all, based on Korn’s history of injuries, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get to know the names of the other signal-callers on the Thundering Herd’s roster.
But the Clemson transfer insists that he is healthy and ready to engage in what should be a hotly contested quarterback competition this fall during camp in Huntington, W.Va.
The graduate transfer with immediate eligibility will step into a four-way battle for the starting job with incumbent Brian Anderson and freshmen A.J. Graham and Eddie Sullivan after recently finishing his studies at Clemson.
In three partial seasons with the Tigers from 2007-09, Korn threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns against two interceptions, but he elected to complete his eligibility elsewhere after losing the starting job at to Kyle Parker. He remained in South Carolina, however, to complete his undergraduate work while researching possible transfer options. Because Marshall offers a graduate journalism program and Korn is an aspiring sports broadcaster, playing for the Thundering Herd was an intriguing fit.
But the major question surrounding Korn, who has two years left of eligibility, is his health. Injuries, and not erratic play, resulted in his playing time getting cut short with the Tigers and his ACC career being stalled.
He suffered a pair of season-ending injuries during his Clemson career, first during his true freshman year in 2007 when he fractured his right collarbone in the third game of the season and was forced to take a medical redshirt. The next season in a game against Georgia Tech, he partially tore his right labrum in a couple of different areas. He had arthroscopic surgery, and he insists that he’s been healthy ever since.
“I’m good to go,” the 6-2, 215-pound quarterback told The Herald-Dispatch. “I’ve been asked that question before where I’ve had to lie and say, ‘Oh, it’s fine. It’s great. It's 100 percent,’ and just go along with it. But I can tell you, I’m confident it’s 100 percent. It feels great.”
“I feel like I'm throwing the ball really well in 7-on-7s, completing a lot of passes.”
After the injury to his labrum, Korn spent most of the 2009 season working to rediscover his mechanics and recover his muscle memory and fundamentals, which explains why he never had a final chance to get on the field at Clemson even with Parker’s ups and downs.
However, Korn will have every opportunity to prove his skeptics wrong this season at Marshall, although he will have to battle for snaps.
At the start of spring camp, first-year Thundering Herd head coach Doc Holliday stated that the job was the fifth-year senior Anderson’s to lose, and he’ll enter fall as the incumbent. But Graham’s play improved steadily throughout spring drills, and Sullivan is an intriguing prospect, as well.
And then there’s Korn, who unquestionably will be a factor because of his past starting experience. And, oh yeah, his talent.
He threw for more than 10,000 yards during his prep career at Byrnes (S.C.) High School and was ranked as the fifth-best dual-threat signal-caller by Rivals.com coming out of high school. He also won back-to-back Gatorade Player of the Year awards in South Carolina.
He looks forward to being pushed physically and mentally in the competition for the starting job, as well as putting to rest questions about his arm strength.
He will spend his summer months continuing to get to know his new teammates and adjusting to life in Huntington on a new campus in a new league. He typically lifts weights four days a week, throws on Mondays and Wednesdays and goes for a 6 a.m. run every Wednesday.
While nothing is guaranteed for Korn at Marshall, the hard part is over. He’s finally healthy, so all he needs to do now is let his talent take over.
That is, if the Thundering Herd doesn’t have too much depth for his own good.
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