IN FOCUS: Korn's football dream revived by AFL offer

Reports to spring training in Phoenix in January

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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Willy Korn gets a shot at professional football, signing with the Arena Football League's Arizona Rattlers.


Willy Korn gets a shot at professional football, signing with the Arena Football League's Arizona Rattlers.

Willy Korn’s mercurial path through the world of football has yet another twist.

This past week, the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers were assigned Korn’s rights as a free agent. After a phone interview with Rattlers’ Head Coach and General Manager Kevin Guy, the former Byrnes/Clemson/almost Marshall/North Greenville quarterback was offered his first professional contract.

The irony is that Korn, who was relentless in pursuit of finishing his collegiate career on his own terms, said he was finally ready to go on with life after football.

 “I put everything I had into it and was at peace with not moving on (from football),” Korn was quoted at NGUCrusaders.com. “Then, one week after that, I get a call from (Guy). We talked for an hour, and he offered me a contract.”

NGU did a good thing by giving Korn a chance, and he rewarded the Crusaders program with almost instant credibility, which included a trip to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals in 2011.

Korn, who reportedly had an excellent NFL workout at Coastal Carolina before April’s NFL Draft, may be able to find more credibility for himself with the defending Arena Bowl Champion Rattlers.

Thirty-two NFL teams passed on Korn in the draft and when all the free-agent signings were complete before training camps opening, his name was still not on an NFL roster. He was assigned to Toronto of the Canadian Football League, but the Argos passed as well.

This is Korn’s shot at professional football and his chance to keep a flicker of his NFL dream alive.

He can take solace in the fact that it has happened before. Kurt Warner made it from the Iowa Barnstormers to the Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals and should be in the NFL Hall of Fame one day.

Korn has had his share of bad luck at Clemson and with things working out badly before they ever got started at Marshall.

But he’s reportedly healthy now. His throwing motion is compact and again the stroke NFL scouts are seeking.

He will need luck. The first step will be making the Rattlers’ roster. He will need to find someone who believes in him the way Warner did in St. Louis with Dick Vermeil.

But he at least knows it can happen.

Korn’s journey begins anew now in the desert, perfect for someone who has already wandered so far in the game.


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