Greenville, S.C.—Almost a year since Willy Korn’s college career ended, his professional career is set to begin. Korn, who transferred to NGU in 2010 after a brief stint at Marshall has signed a contract to play with the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League.
The Arena Football League is the premiere indoor football league in the United States, kick starting the careers of players such as future NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner and Jay Feely of the Arizona Cardinals. Korn was assigned to the Rattlers Wednesday afternoon and quickly inked the deal.
The Rattlers are familiar to Arena fans after winning the Arena Bowl in 2012, the AFL equivalent to the NFL Superbowl. At 23 years old, Korn stands 6'2" and weighs 210 pounds. The quarterback was a two-year starter at North Greenville his junior and senior year. In 2010, he threw for more than 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns and also ran for four scores. Originally from Lyman, South Carolina, Korn was the number five dual threat quarterback out of high school and originally committed to Clemson University.
“Without NGU, this opportunity doesn’t happen,” says Korn. “I’m so thankful to Jamey Chadwell and Jimmy Epting for taking a chance on me back in 2010 when no one else was willing to. They allowed me to become part of the Crusader family.”
Korn says he was at peace with the fact that it was time to move on (from the game of football) after not being contacted by any NFL teams. Korn had received interest from a Canadian Football League team in the past, but the franchise decided to go in a different direction.
“I put everything I had into it and was at peace with the decision to move on. Than one week after that, I get a call from the Arizona rattlers head coach Kevin guy and we talked for a half hour and he offered me a contract.”
“I couldn't believe it was really happening. It's just crazy how things work. They are a very successful organization, they won the arena bowl last year so they are accustomed to winning.”
The Arizona Rattlers franchise is located in Phoenix Arizona. The team plays its home games in US Airways Center, home of the NBA Phoenix Suns. Korn will report to training camp in Late January. “As amazing as this opportunity is, if you don’t show up and perform at a high level, they will send you right back home.”
Korn is preparing for his opportunity by training four days a week with another former NGU football standout in Andre’ Bernardi, now the school’s head strength and conditioning coordinator.
“I appreciate everyone at NGU for everything they have done [for me]. From coaches to teammates to the faculty and classmates-It wouldn’t be possible without them.”