Willy Korn is the blue chip QB who was destined to lead Clemson back to the top of the ACC. He was the heir apparent going into his third spring practice. And he was thoroughly outplayed in the Tigers spring game by a true freshman from Jacksonville.
Meet Kyle Parker, a kid who could make C.U. faithful forget Korn by September. Parker looked almost Tebow-like last Saturday, flipping passes, sprinting away from trouble, and energizing his team. He played with confidence and added a spark. Threw for a TD and ran for another, showing good speed on a misdirection bootleg from the three. Meanwhile Korn threw two picks and played uptight.
We asked Greg Wallace of the Anderson Independent-Mail (read his excellent C.U. coverage here) about the QB battle, and how the Clemson defense is coming along:
"Having seen Kyle Parker and Willy Korn up close this spring for all 3 scrimmages, I'd say that Parker's performance Saturday gave him a slight edge, but very, very slight. I still think Clemson's coaches will look at the whole body of work over 15 practices as opposed to a vanilla, televised scrimmage.
"It should be a very tight battle in preseason practice.
"I think Parker has good mobility and a stronger arm, but struggles sometimes with accuracy. Korn has better mobility and more accuracy, but is recovering from 2 shoulder injuries in the past 2 years. I think both know the offense pretty well, although Korn might have a slight edge there. Right now I think it's too close to call.
"As for the defense, I think they'll be pretty good. DeAndre McDaniel was a force at safety this spring, and although there are questions about the linebackers, the defensive line was great even without Ricky Sapp, who's recovering from ACL surgery. Da'Quan Bowers was pretty much unblockable all spring. So I think as long as they progress well in Kevin Steele's system during preseason camp, they'll be OK."