Korn having fun again

Former Clemson quarterback Willy Korn has been through a lot in the last seven days. And he'll be the first to tell you no one is more surprised about it than him.

In the matter of a week he went from competing for the starting quarterback position at Marshall to being a reserve safety ... to now becoming the quarterback at Division II North Greenville University after deciding to transfer schools for the second time this year.

"It's been absolutely crazy," Korn told CUTigers publisher Roy Philpott on The Score sports talk show Friday afternoon. "If you told me last Thursday, after our first scrimmage, after I got done playing quarterback, if you told me I was going to be at North Greenville in four days, I would tell you you're full of crap. I wouldn't believe you."

Somewhat unexpectedly, after just one scrimmage, his career as a Thundering Herd quarterback came to an end.

He was told then the quickest way for Korn to see the field was to play safety and special teams.

"I think they made the decision a little early on in the process because we hadn't been through any of our stadium scrimmage," he said. "I think they kind of based their decision on what they had seen us do in practice that first week, which was throw routes against air and throwing one on ones and mostly throwing pass skeleton, which is seven on seven.

"We didn't get a whole heck of 11-on-11 team reps, just because we didn't get to go to full pads until day five or six, because of the acclimation period."

"They told me my arm wasn't as strong [the other quarterbacks]. They told me they were going to go with the other two guys—the senior and the true freshman," Korn said. (Roy Philpott)
Korn met with Marshall coaches last Friday to express his concern for the lack of reps.

"They told me my arm wasn't as strong [the other quarterbacks]. They told me they were going to go with the other two guys—the senior and the true freshman," Korn said.

He was then moved to free safety and informed that he could help out on special teams. The following day he played in the scrimmage at safety. His only prior experience on defense was playing end in little league.

"I was the worst tackler in the history [of the league]. Just atrocious tackling," Korn said with a laugh. "So at that point I had two options. I could stay and bust it, try and turn myself into a safety, which who knows how that would have worked out? Or I could come back home and be with family and friends."

It didn't take long to figure out a plan.

After talking with his father about the situation, he was back home on Sunday, ready to find a place where he'd have a shot to play quarterback.

Korn said things started off well at Marshall. Really, the only negative from his summer was a bashed car window and stolen IPod.

"The summer went great, as far as workouts go…I got the summer hardest worker for the quarterback group," Korn said. "It's not like I'm holding a grudge against them. I really feel like everything worked out like it's supposed to. "But it's not an accident that I'm here back in the Upstate. This is where I'm supposed to be. I'm really comfortable with where I'm at."

And there are no hard feelings towards Tigertown either. Despite leaving Clemson after losing the starting quarterback position to Kyle Parker, Korn says he's regular touch with a number of players and coaches.

"I love that place. I love all the guys in the locker room," Korn said of Clemson. (Roy Philpott)
"I love that place. I love all the guys in the locker room," Korn said.

Periodic summer phone calls from Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier, defensive ends coach Chris Rumph and tight ends coach Danny Pearman have really meant a lot, too.

"That's kind of rare in college football today…it kind of shows you what kind of relationship I had with the coaches and the players there," Korn said.

He did admit to asking Chad Diehl to lobby for him to return to the Clemson football team. In jest or not, Korn knew it wouldn't work, since he would lose a year for transferring to another Division I school.

So far, he's happy at North Greenville. The Crusaders had two converted cornerbacks battling for the starting position before Korn's arrival, and given his mobility and natural skill set, it seems like a good fit. A very good fit.

"For the first time in a long time being out on the practice field for a few days, it's been a lot of fun," he said.

Still trying to learn Jamey Chadwell's system and win the starting job, Korn's running the triple-option, which he compared to Wofford's offense, but out of the shotgun.

There's a little more balance to the Crusaders' offense, too.

"I think everybody's just going to have a good time and enjoy it and win every game we play," he added.

So now having made the trip from Clemson to West Virginia, he'll conclude his college career not in Tigertown, but in Tigerville ... as in Tigerville, S.C., home of the North Greenville Crusaders.

And what a long strange trip it's been.

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