All Eyes on Korn and Parker as Spring Practice Begins

by - Senior Writer -
Willy Korn started Dabo Swinney's first game against Georgia Tech.

CLEMSON – No doubt about it, the biggest question on a big list of questions for the Clemson University football team is who will be under center when the Tigers open their season against Middle Tennessee in Death Valley on Sept. 5th.

Will it be the highly-touted Willy Korn, who, entering his third season (he redshirted his freshman year), feels like he is finally ready to make his mark on the program? Will it be the athletic Kyle Parker, he of the rocket arm? Or could Michael Wade or even Tajh sneak into the mix?

No one knows for certain at this point, but Monday’s opening practice of spring drills was just the first installment of Game On, with both Korn and Parker showing they have the confidence to be The Man in September and beyond.

Korn said he is thankful that his opportunity has finally arrived, and now that he is putting his shoulder woes behind him, he is ready to prove he can be the starter.

“This is my opportunity to go out and prove to my teammates, prove to the coaches that I can be the guy to lead this team,” Korn said. “I feel like I've been a freshman for about 8 years here. But it's a good feeling, knowing what you're doing, having some experience with the offense.

“It’s (the shoulder) feeling good,” he added. “I’ve been working hard on it ever since we started back in January. Coach (Billy) Napier’s been working hard with me on it. We’ve got a lot of new drills that we’re doing, just with the quarterbacks, to help me get my mechanics back. It definitely felt natural, not so much of a strain on it.”

Parker will enter Tuesday’s second practice probably feeling a little rushed – he has a baseball game at Doug Kingsmore at 4 p.m. against Michigan St. - prompting Swinney to quip that Parker would have to “change in a phone booth.”

On Monday, however, Parker seemed to be embracing the challenge of trying to win a starting spot in two sports.

It’s definitely exciting knowing I’m getting a chance to compete,” Parker said. “It’s my responsibility to do something with that, nothing’s really guaranteed but I’m excited going out there and just having fun, playing some ball. We got a good plan worked out and everything.

“We (the baseball team) got back about 11:30 last night, and this morning Coach (Napier) texted me and wanted me to meet up with him at about seven. So, it’s been a long day, but I think I can handle it and I’m excited for the opportunity.”

Wade, the junior out of Riverside High School, will also try and throw his name into the mix, as will Boyd, the 5-star recruit out of Hampton, Va., who was at practice Monday and said he thinks he can compete for a job in the fall, but for now, all eyes will be on Parker and Korn.

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