Starting Quarterback Position Still Up for Grabs, May Be Decided During Season


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – The only thing for certain right now in the search for a starting quarterback at Clemson is that is nothing is very certain at all.

The Clemson coaching staff was hoping to have a better idea of a pecking order after Saturday’s scrimmage in Death Valley, and in talking with coaches and players following the scrimmage, it appears that the situation is still fluid, with Parker slightly ahead.

Offensive coordinator Billy Napier said following the scrimmage that Parker was getting the majority of the snaps, and while he said that was because Parker needed to get up to speed following a spring that he divided between football and baseball, he also said that Parker had created some separation.

"Just overall , he [Parker] has executed really well, made good decisions," Napier said. "He gives us an opportunity to be explosive at that position. There really are no limits from an arm strength standpoint. I think it is important to know Willy Korn has really, really improved. He's going to get to play. It's not one of those deals where it will be all black and white."

I asked one assistant coach his thoughts, and he said that after Saturday’s scrimmage, he felt like Korn had taken a step forward and that the two were very much even. Another player told me that Korn was a leader, while yet another said Parker’s play-making ability was a difference-maker.

So while some may incur, and rightly so, that Parker is ahead, what is for certain is that this battle may be taken into the season.

Head coach Dabo Swinney hinted earlier that he might make an announcement a little later this week, but he said that it really doesn’t matter who is to picked to start, that both will get playing time, but it’s getting close to time to make a decision to get a quarterback ready for Middle Tennessee. ition.

"The real objective now is to pare down to who we are playing and start getting ready to develop continuity with the first and second group," Swinney said. "At some point we will have to make a decision. When that is going to be, I don't have a particular moment set."

However the decision is made, both players are happy to be getting their shot to play.

”At this point, no matter what happens, I am going to have the same attitude,” Korn said Saturday. “I know I am going to get an opportunity, whether as a starter or not. It doesn’t matter if you play first or you play second, what matters is what you do with that opportunity when you get it.”

Parker said he has no idea what is going to happen, but takes all of the questioning in stride.

”I think if you ask any player, they will tell you they want to be the starter, you are going to get a yes” Parker said. “I don’t know what is going to happen. Willy is a good player and he goes out there and makes plays. But it all comes down to the coaches, whatever is best for the team. Whatever they decide, that is what I am going to have to deal with. What I do on the field could determine it, but I don’t have the final say.”

Parker was asked if he thought that Swinney would name a starter in the near future, and he said he hoped that would be the case.

”I would imagine so,” Parker said. “Alabama, Georgia, all of those teams that have lost a guy have named a starter already. That is the way you have to go to get that guy ready for the upcoming season. So I imagine he would name starter pretty soon. But I don’t think it eliminates the backup playing at all, probably just some reps in practice and who gets the majority of snaps during the game.”

Korn said he doesn’t read the blogs or newspapers, and had not heard that Swinney may make an announcement this week, and instead will just continue to have fun and prepare.

”It’s our job to come here and show the coaches what we can do,” Korn said. “Right now, I am just going to come out and have a good time with the guys and compete. I just know that I feel like I am playing really well, and I’m as confident right now as I have been my entire career. I enjoy being with the guys and competing.”

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