Matt Corral: 5 things to know about the Ole Miss Rebels quarterback
Matt Corral is a redshirt sophomore quarterback for Ole Miss competing for the Rebels' starting job.
Corral started the first four games for Ole Miss in 2019 before an injury sidelined him. He was replaced as starter by then-freshman John Rhys Plumlee and missed two games. Upon returning from injury, Corral was used in a rotational capacity for the final six games of the year, primarily entering for plays and drives where Ole Miss needed to throw often.
A former four-star recruit who chose Ole Miss over some of the nation's biggest programs, Corral is a high-potential quarterback who might be able to thrive in new head coach Lane Kiffin's quarterback-friendly offense.
Here are five things to know about Matt Corral:
1. Corral had an up-and-down 2019
Corral struggled in his first career start on opening day against Memphis last season, going 9 for 19 with 93 yards and an interception. He took huge strides forward in his next three games, throwing for 751 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions and completing 62% of his passes.
But Corral got hurt in his fourth start and never regained the starting position. He played in six games through the end of the season, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions in 64 pass attempts in those games.
Corral's last actions might've been his most memorable. He led the Rebels on an impressive drive in the final minutes of the 2019 Egg Bowl culminating in a touchdown pass to bring the Rebels within one point of tying the score before Luke Logan's missed extra point prevented Ole Miss from forcing overtime.
2. Corral arrived with high expectations
Corral committed to Ole Miss as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in his recruiting class according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. Corral had previously been committed to USC and Florida before choosing Ole Miss and had scholarship offers from schools like Alabama, Georgia and Michigan.
The quarterback played four games while redshirting as a true freshman in 2018. He completed 16 of his 22 pass attempts for 239 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Corral says he's better focused
Based on interviews conducted in the preseason, Corral claims he's rededicated himself to being the quarterback fans and recruiting analysts predicted he could be.
"I wasn't successful last year," Corral said in August. "Why? That's what I was asking myself: What wasn't working and what did I do wrong? It all came down to my work ethic there. It takes a lot of sacrifices when you realize you've got to do what you've got to do. It's an investment for what you want in the future. I think I've taken a big leap from last year to this year as far as that goes."
4. Corral is California cool
Corral hails from Ventura, California. He started all four years of high school, three at Oaks Christian and the fourth at Long Beach Poly. He threw for a staggering 10,178 yards and 103 touchdowns in that time and posted a career NFL quarterback rating of 133.3.
He's the only Californian on Ole Miss' roster right now.
5. Corral is competing for the starting job
As was the case last season, Corral is still fighting to win Ole Miss' starting quarterback job. He and Plumlee have battled all offseason and as of Wednesday Kiffin had still yet to name a starter for the opener against Florida.
Corral is the more refined passer but Plumlee is considered a better running threat. Kiffin said Monday that it's very possible that both Corral and Plumlee will play in some capacity on Saturday and that one of the two will start.
Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.