First, they have to get through undefeated Gaffney (S.C.) High School. It's another big game Byrnes and Korn and it's on national television.
For Willy Korn it is business as usual. The five-star quarterback commitment to Clemson is the leader of the nation's No. 2 ranked high school football team, Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes High School. And tomorrow night they take on yet another big time opponent. This time it's the No. 2 ranked team in the state of South Carolina, Gaffney High School. It's at their house and on national T.V. (Fox Sports). For Byrnes and Korn, it's just another big game.
"The schedule as been great," said Korn. "We have played Belle Glades on T.V. (ESPN) and we went up to Ohio and played Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller. I have never seen a team as big and fast as Glades and Moeller was the best defense I have ever faced. They are like Gaffney.
"This week we play Gaffney at their stadium. They call it 'The Reservation' and it's one of the best home field advantages in the state. It's another big game atmosphere for us and I think we have been thriving under that pressure."
Korn and his Byrne's teammates are on quite a roll. They have won four straight state titles and are on a current 34 game winning streak. The last time the Rebels lost was to Gaffney, on the road, 12-10 on '04. That loss snapped a 29 game winning streak. Last season they won 30-10 over the Indians. Both teams go into this game unbeaten.
"They have a great program and their coach (Strickland) is a guy I have a lot of respect for. He has won two state titles, they are well coached and they play great defense. They are physical and hard hitting. We have to be patient and take what they give us. That sure is a tough place to play. It's the last place we lost. That stadium is so loud (they are expecting 13,000 fans) because those fans are screaming at the top of their lungs. Last time I couldn't hear myself audible. I guess it is something I better get used."
Korn actually made his college commitment very early. He committed to the Tigers on August 1st of last year. It was something he wanted to do early, especially considering Clemson was his choice all along.
"I really wanted to get it (decision) out of the way," explained Korn. "Clemson is where I wanted to be. I have always love it and when Coach (Rob) Spence got their as the Tiger Offensive Coordinator, that just solidifed it. He is awesome and I love that offense. I also wanted to stay close home and be near my family, coaches and friends. It was really Clemson all the way."
There will be high expectations on Korn after he finishes up his brilliant career for the Byrnes Rebels. He will graduate in December and enroll at Clemson in January. Korn will have a chance to participate in spring football for the Tigers and compete with Cullen Harper (junior), Tribble Reese (junior) and Michael Wade (freshman) for the starting quarterback position. Yes the job is open but Korn knows he has a ways to go.
"Those guys have the upper hand because they know the system and have some experience there. I will go in there and show them what I have. There are only two things I can control, my work ethic and my coachability. I will do those two things very well."
Korn is dangerous both throwing and running. He shows poise in the pocket and the ability to find the open receiver down field. When things break down he can buy time and throw with accuracy on the run. He also puts extra pressure on the defense with his ability to tuck it and take off. Korn has good speed for a quarterback and shows some quickness as well. He shows above average arm strength and can throw with touch when it's called for. Korn is accurate and seems to make good decisions with the ball and knows when to hold it or get rid of the ball.
He looks to be a great fit for Tommy Bowden's and Rob Spence's Tiger spread offense. Last season as a junior Korn threw for 4,100 yards and an 51 touchdowns. Through eight games this season he has thrown for 2,179 yards and 25 touchdown passes.
Three other teammates will join Korn in college at Clemson, linebackers Stanley Hunter and Chad Diehl and wide receiver Xavier Dye.
Another Big Game for Korn
CUTigers.com Top Stories
PHOTO GALLERY I: NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PARADEEnjoy these images from the Clemson National Championship Parade and Death Valley Celebration, courtesy of CUTigers.com Photographer John Bolton!
CUTigers.comYesterday at 9:56 AM
RECRUITING RADARIn our weekly Recruiting Radar, CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel updates you on the latest news and intel on the Clemson recruiting front!
CUTigers.comTuesday at 6:20 PM
RECRUITING RADAR: National Champion EditionIn our weekly Recruiting Radar, CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel updates you on the latest news and intel on the Clemson recruiting front!
CUTigers.comFriday at 7:38 AM
POST-GAME INTERVIEWSWatch Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, players and coaches discuss their historic National Championship win over #1 Alabama.