Korn Talks Independence Scrimmage

DUNCAN, S.C. - Clemson verbal commitment and 5-star quarterback Willy Korn led Byrnes to a quick 21-point lead over Independence High School of Charlotte Saturday night in a clash of national powers.

Even though the lead didn't last (Byrnes eventually lost the game 28-21), mostly due to the Rebels playing their second and third teams late in the second half, the game still had a championship feel to it.

"Defensively they did a great job," Korn said afterwards. "Up front they have a huge defensive line. They gave us a lot of good looks. It is going to be good to come in on Sunday and see what they did to us on film."

Saturday's game, while just a scrimmage, still drew a mind-boggling 7,500 fans.

And while many view it as a warm-up game, Korn said it was important part of the year, especially with Byrnes losing 38 seniors from last year's state championship squad.

Any game day experience is viewed as a positive headed into the official start of the season this Friday night against Hartsville.

"We are an inexperienced team," he said. "When we met up at the end of the game coach Bentley told all the starters from last years team for offense and defense to stand. We have six coming back from last year's team. We've got a lot of guys that are close."

Oddly enough, if Byrnes plans on winning a fifth straight title, Korn will likely have to do something he's never done in the course of his incredible high school career: play four quarters.

In year's past, he often gave way to another Division I-A quarterback prospect in Daniel Barton. Barton was a senior last year so that means Korn will likely be seeing significantly more playing time if the games remain close.

"I need to do a little better job of that," Korn said of playing in the second half. "I am getting a little tired on some drives but we are fine. I'm not really use to playing in the 3rd and fourth quarter but there are going to be games where I will need to do that so I just need to get ready for it."

Korn finished Saturday's scrimmage completing 17-of-31 passes for 143 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Korn also talked briefly about his trip to California for the Elite 11 camp in July.

"This summer was a blast," he said. "I was pretty much up at the school lifting and running every day but going out to California was an unbelievable experience. It was a great summer.

"But I am glad it is finally starting to get into the season. I can start focusing on our team. I don't have to worry about recruiting or anything like that. I can focus on getting better every day."

After helping the Tigers land another verbal commitment in Virginia tight end Brian Linthicum a few weeks back, Korn said he's got another top prospect high on his list: offensive lineman Chris Little.

"I have been kind of lazy (with recruiting) lately to tell you the truth," he said. "I've got so much going on with our program. "But I am going to try and get a few numbers here and there. I am going to try to give Chris Little a call. Chris Little is a guy that I would really like to play with at Clemson. I am going to give him a call in the next couple of weeks."

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