What About Michael Wade?

CLEMSON – Many people feel that once Byrnes High School star Willy Korn arrives in January, that the starting quarterback job at Clemson will automatically be his. However, there's another local product already on the team that may have something to say about that.

Greer native and freshman Michael Wade is currently listed as the fourth-string quarterback, but once spring practice rolls around, he will have a chance to compete for the top spot.

"I see him competing," offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rob Spence said. "He came here to do just that. His physical attributes and physical characteristics have improved remarkably in a four-month period. He throws the ball nicely and he is extremely, extremely athletic."

Of course, there's also current second-team quarterback Cullen Harper, a redshirt sophomore, and third-teamer Tribble Reese, also a redshirt sophomore, Wade will have to battle against for playing time.

However, many associated with the football program believe one of those two redshirt sophomores could transfer this summer.

"I see an extremely competitive environment at quarterback," Spence said. "I'm very pleased with the potential prospects that we have coming in to the university and those that are here.

"It's really going to be a fun situation and a fun environment to coach these young players. They're working hard every single day. They're unknown names to the community and to the university."

One aspect that has hurt the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Wade is that as a freshman who is being redshirted, he spends all of his practice time simulating as the oppositions quarterback.

He hasn't had much time to work on his own game.

While a senior at Riverside High, Wade threw for 1,376 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for 354 yards and five touchdowns. He was ranked by Scout.com as the No. 38 quarterback in the nation and chose the Tigers over Maryland and Duke.

The potential is there for Wade, it's just a matter of getting enough time to bring it to the surface. And Spence expects that to be the case this spring.

"He's making up ground, but it's really, really hard to catch up as a redshirt because he's spending so much time with the scout team that he hasn't been coached as much as obviously he would like or that I would like," Spence said. "But he also understands that that time is about to come and about to arrive and that that time is now."

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