CLEMSON -- Willy Korn said he would be OK with being a backup -- in the NFL.

Unwilling to accept backup status at Clemson, Korn said Thursday he will transfer to Marshall to compete for the starting quarterback job.

Meeting with reporters a day after National Signing Day, it was reminder of how savior labels are often prematurely attached in February. Korn, who arrived as a heralded recruit at Clemson three years ago, said he has done his best to "rip off the rear-view mirror" and not think about what could have been as a Tiger.

"I feel like things would have been a lot different if I hadn't been hurt in back-to-back years," Korn said.

Korn announced his intention to transfer in December after future playing time at Clemson seemed unlikely with a freshman All-American ahead of him in Kyle Parker, and a heralded redshirt freshman behind him in Tajh Boyd.

On Thursday, Korn announced his new home, though there will be competition at Marshall, which returns starting quarterback Brian Anderson.

Anderson had a so-so season last year as a junior, completing 58 percent of his passes for 2,646 yards (6.64 ypa) with 14 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. Also on the roster is another Upstate quarterback product, Mark Cann, a sophomore who started 11 games as a freshman in 2008.

Korn was asked why he didn't transfer to a school with a glaring void at quarterback.

"I still have a burning desire to play at this level," Korn said. "To kind of prove to everyone I can still do it. To everyone that doubts me, to kind of prove them wrong."

Korn also brought up a conversation with his father, who suggested it was good to have competition and not make it "too easy."

Korn will have an advantage in auditioning for a new coaching staff headed by Doc Holliday, who told Korn there will be an open competition. But Korn will miss Marshall's spring practice as he completes his degree at Clemson.

To transfer to a Football Bowl Subdivision school without losing eligibility -- Korn has two years remaining -- Korn had to graduate then enroll in graduate school (Journalism) at Marshall.

This spring, Korn will work out with his former head coach at Byrnes, Bobby Bentley, and continue to refine his throwing mechanics, which were altered by shoulder surgery. Korn declined to name the two other programs he considered.

"Everyone has a clean slate," said Korn of playing for Holliday.

Korn will also be close to Columbus, Ohio, where the Herd will open their season against Ohio State and where Korn has family.

Reach Travis Sawchik at tsawchik@postandcourier.com and check out his Clemson blog at www.postandcourier.com/blogs/tiger_tracks.