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Anderson wins quarterback derby

Football
Aug. 14, 2010 @ 07:05 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The four-man race to be Marshall University's No. 1 quarterback is over.

Thundering Herd football head coach Doc Holliday said Friday after practice that senior and incumbent Brian Anderson is No. 1, freshman Eddie Sullivan has ascended to No. 2 and redshirt freshman A.J. Graham is No. 3.

Where does that leave marquee transfer Willy Korn? On defense. At safety.

When practice began Friday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, five quarterbacks -- Press Taylor and Mark Cann along with the three above -- huddled with position coach Tony Petersen. When Korn was finally located, No. 5 in white now had that number in green and had joined the defense as a safety.

"As I told you earlier, we've got to get this quarterback thing down to one or two guys," Holliday said. "And it shook out Brian Anderson and Eddie Sullivan are one and two right now with A.J. up their tails. A.J. will still get work. We'll see how those other two shake out.

"Willy Korn, what a special guy. He's been a quarterback his whole life. He's a great kid. I told him today the situation. He said 'Coach, I want to move to defense and help this football team win some games.' That tells you what kind of kid he is. He's a special kid. I'm just glad he's here."

Korn, who is from Lyman, S.C., started his career at Clemson University in 2007. He was one of the top recruits in the country at that time. His time with the Tigers was marked by injuries. He hurt his arm in his lone start at Clemson in 2008 against Georgia Tech. He needed surgery and struggled with his mechanics and arm strength during spring practice last year. Freshman Kyle Parker started in 2009 and Korn, the backup, played in just six games. Korn said in February he would transfer to Marshall after he graduated in May.

He's in Marshall's journalism graduate program and has two years of eligibility.

"Sure he is disappointed," Holliday said. "His dream was to be a quarterback. We all have dreams. Unfortunately his dream didn't come true. But you know it's going to come true. He's going to be a great player for us somewhere else and help this team win."

Korn didn't talk to the media Friday after practice. Holliday said he'll be available after Saturday's session to discuss recent events. Saturday practice begins at 10:45 a.m.

Sullivan said he didn't know about the move until right before practice.

"I was in the quarterback room. I heard they were moving Willy to defense," Sullivan said. "I'm completely in shock. I had no idea that was coming."

Holliday, offensive coordinator Bill Legg and Petersen studied film of the four quarterbacks in the race after every practice. Holliday said Anderson and Sullivan earned their positions from all their work, not just off Thursday's situation scrimmage.

"We've evaluated them from the first practice until now," Holliday said. "The thing I said earlier is you can't get four guys or five guys ready. You've got to get it down to a couple. We'll see how Brian and Eddie shake out. If A.J. keeps doing a good job and if A.J. beats him (Sullivan) out he's in the mix. We'll see what happens. At this point, we've got to go in this direction."

Holliday said Petersen, a former Herd quarterback, has done excellent work in developing the signal callers. The first test comes Sept. 2 against Ohio State in Columbus.

"Tony Petersen is a great coach," Holliday said. "Fortunately he's made it all better. They've all gotten a lot better over a period of time. Whoever those couple guys are that we end getting ready to go to play Ohio State, Tony will have them prepared."

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