Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Rebels QB Matt Corral is Focusing On How to Improve

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Matt Corral named SEC Freshman of the Week after 31-17 victory over Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Walter Lyle.

Ole Miss red-shirt sophomore quarterback Matt Corral told members of the media Wednesday that he is working harder than ever before.

“By far, this is the hardest I’ve ever worked since I was trying to earn a scholarship,” Corral said.”

The quarterback said he feels that he was not successful in his previous season at Ole Miss. 

“It all came down to my work ethic there,” Corral said. “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.”

Corral made it clear during the press conference that he never had any intention of transferring to another program. The hire of Lane Kiffin as the Rebels’ new head coach was just the “cherry on top” for him.

“Of course, it was in my mind,” Corral said. “But, you know, I didn’t want to have to deal with all that extra stuff and everything that came with that. And like I knew what I had in front of me.”

Corral said he can now see the mistakes he made during his first full season with the team and is ready to embrace new play call terminology. The quarterback has played under three different offensive coordinators in his three seasons with the Rebels. 

“The reason we do things is different. But I think what we can take away from this year is that we understand why we’re doing what we’re doing as a quarterback,” he said. “I think that’s what’s so good about this system, in my opinion.”

After three days of practice, Kiffin said that quarterbacks Corral and Plumlee are leading the race for the starting position. Corral clarified that the two are not focusing on competing with each other, but rather on self-improvement. He said that the two quarterbacks meet every morning around 5:30 to discuss ways to implement things learned in practice, along with the rest of the quarterback room. 

“We really try to focus on ourselves… And what we need to work on as a group mentality,” said Corral. 

 The Ventura, California, native said he feels for West Coast players who have been affected by the fall shutdown of the Pac-12 conference. 

“It’s a crazy time we’re living in right now, and the West Coast is way different from the East Coast and the South, but I feel for those guys that have got to wait until the spring,” Corral said. 

“I’m happy we get to play. And I know that our team is as well, and we’re very excited to get out there,” he said.