Well I’ll be damned. Matt Corral is going to stun the world of college football and go and win himself a Heisman trophy. At least, that’s where he’s headed. We are three games into the season and he’s looked almost flawless. With a cannon for an arm, strength and speed to take off and run, and the backing of Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin, the sky is the limit for Matt Corral. Here’s a young quarterback that if you don’t know yet, you should get to know now, as I can see him quickly making his way to the top of the list ahead of the 2022 NFL draft.
I had him ranked number three in our pre season top ten college football QBs, and I’m starting to think that might have been two spots too low…
Corral’s first two seasons at Ole Miss were quiet, and it seemed like the former 4* recruit might not shake out to be what Ole Miss thought he was. Enter Lane Kiffin, who changed the way the team played football. Any Head Coach who has spent time under Nick Saban typically turns out alright, and Kiffin came to Ole Miss having spent three years as the QBs coach and offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide. The pinnacle of College Football. He took his first head coaching role at FAU, spending three years with the Owls, before arriving with the Ole Miss Rebels in 2020. Corral quickly began to look different.
Kiffin is every gunslingers dream. Corral was allowed to open up and throw the ball down the field more, utilising his arm strength. He can throw a football sixty yards with what seems like very minimal effort, and has a glorious looking touch when he slings it. However in the 2020 season, it was turnovers getting the better of him in certain games, and things spiralled out of control for him on multiple occasions. Corral threw six interceptions against Arkansas, and four against LSU last year, with ten of his thirteen for the season coming in those two games alone. It was those turnovers costing him a mention in the top QB conversation heading into this year.
However, so far so good, and through three games of the 2021 season, Corral has thrown 997 yards and nine TD’s without a single interception. Clearly this was something Kiffin worked on with his young quarterback, and Corral addressed the point in the preseason media days, telling the SEC tv crew that ‘cutting down on turnovers would be key’ for Ole Miss. As I’ve already said, so far this season, he’s been flawless. Not only has be thrown almost 1000 yards through three games, but he’s got in the end zone five times on the ground too. To put that into perspective, he only had four in all of last seasons campaign. He had seven touchdowns in total this weekend just gone, throwing three through the air, and dashing in four times on the ground against Tulane. An outstanding performance.
Corral has all the tools, and looks like a guy who is playing with extreme confidence. He’s taking off and putting his shoulder down, running right through contact. He believes in himself, and looks to be having a tonne of fun out there too. He can run, either by design or consequence, read the field, pick out a receiver sixty yards away with ease, and take the slow road driving down the field should he need to. He has a good group around him, but for me he might just be the most complete looking quarterback in all of college football right now. He even dived in and laid out a defender after Ole Miss fumbled the ball on a run play. He was there in an instant to take the guy out. Currently, he’s everything you want in a franchise NFL QB. It shows what you can do when you pair the right head coach with the right talent on the field. Corral and Kiffin is an excellent pairing.
Now of course, the real tests are coming. Ole Miss has a bye week this week before facing Alabama away in Tuscaloosa on October 2nd. Corral will need to go into the number one team in the country’s back yard and put on a stellar performance, to prove to anybody who is still hesitating on him that he is in fact the real deal. Of course, it’s a return to Bama for Lane Kiffin too, who faces his former boss Saban in the match up too. There is no bigger opportunity for Corral, Kiffin, and the Rebels to show what they’re all about.
Believe me, even if they don’t win, but Matt Corral has a great game in the Bryant-Denny Stadium, in front of 100,000 Alabama fans, he’ll shoot to the very top of the Heisman conversation, and he just screams to me Baker Mayfield, and Joe Burrow. Slowly rising through draft boards, until he reaches the very top. Hoddy Toddy Matt Corral. I am a fan, and honestly, I think he does win the Heisman.