CLEMSON -- This season, the Clemson offense will be led by a senior quarterback. Next season, however, the Tigers could be taking the field with a true freshman at the helm.
Byrnes High quarterback Willy Korn, rated the fourth best overall player in the nation by ESPN.com, committed to Clemson after a junior season in which he led the Rebels to a 15-0 record and set a new state record with 4,164 passing yards and 53 touchdown passes.
“I have always wanted to play for Clemson, and really wasn't considering any other school,' Korn said.
“My plan is to graduate from Byrnes in December, enroll at Clemson, and do my best to learn the offense as quickly as possible.”
Korn, who at 6'2” and 200 lbs. rarely is uncomfortable in the pocket, recently showed why he is rated as one of the nation's top prospects when he participated in the Elite 11 Camp in Southern California.
Korn was runner-up in the MVP voting, and was voted most likely to see playing time first at the college level. He also set a new high score in the vision test with 38 points, surpassing former Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart's score of 36.
“The Elite 11 camp was a great experience,” Korn said. ““I realized that I was just as good as any other guy there. Some of them had better arm strength, but I felt I was better as far as accuracy and footwork.”
Korn has never played for a high school team that didn't win a state title, but this could be the most memorable season for the Rebels. Byrnes will play in a nationally televised game on ESPN on August 26, and will compete in the Ohio vs. USA Challenge on September 15.
“I grew up in Columbus (Ohio),” Korn said. “It will be great to go back there and play because I still have family there, and they will be able to come and watch us play.”
“I am not nervous about the ESPN game because those are the kind of games that I look forward to playing in. If anything, I just wish things would slow down a little. I have enjoyed this whole experience, and I don't want it to end too quickly.”
On Friday night (August 18) Brynes will open its season against Hartsville in a nonregion Class AAAA game. Byrnes is No. 1 according to the National High School Football "Tony" Preaseason Poll and No. 6 in Student Sports' Preseason Fab 50.
Reported 2007 Clemson Commitments
1. Mason Cloy OL 6-3 265 4.8 Columbia, SC (Spring Valley HS)
2. Scotty Cooper LB 6-0 195 4.5 Lake City, SC (Lake City HS)
3. Xavier Dye WR 6-4 215 4.5 Greenwood, SC (Greenwood HS)
4. Stanley Hunter LB 6-0 205 4.5 Duncan, SC (Byrnes HS)
5. Jarvis Jenkins DT 6-4 305 4.9 Central, SC (Daniel HS)
6. Willy Korn QB 6-2 200 4.5 Duncan, SC (Byrnes HS)
7. Rennie Moore DE 6-5 260 4.7 St. Mary's, GA (Camden Co. HS)
8. Wilson Norris OL 6-5 320 5.2 Pickens, SC (Pickens HS)
9. David Smith OT 6-5 280 4.9 Greenville, SC (Greenville HS)
10. Landon Walker OT 6-6 270 5.0 Ronda, NC (East Wilkes HS)
11. Marcus Gilchrist DB 5-11 170 4.5 High Point, NC (Andrews HS)
12. Brian Linthicum TE 6-5 220 4.7 Charlottesville, VA (St. Anne's-Belfield)
13. Drew Traylor DE 6-4 225 4.7 Mountain Brook, AL (Mountain Brook HS)