There are guys who we expect to be in New York City before the season kicks off. This year, Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler and North Carolina's Sam Howell topped the list. However, in college football, anything can happen, especially the emergence of new stars.
Take Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral for instance. The Ole Miss gunslinger wasn't on the Heisman radar heading into the season.
Now, he's the frontrunner.
Ole Miss QB Matt Corral
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 19, 2021
A four-star recruit from Long Beach Poly High School in Long Beach, California, Corral first committed to the Florida Gators before flipping to the Rebels. He also had offers from Alabama, USC, Arizona State, Georgia, Michigan, Texas A&M, and UCLA.
Corral may have exploded onto the national scene recently, but he's been the starter in Oxford since 2019. He's had some minor speed bumps along the way. John Rhys Plumlee took over for Corral in the back half of 2019. Corral reclaimed the starting job for the 2020 season, where he threw for 3,337 yards and 29 touchdowns against 14 interceptions while leading the country in total offense per game.
Matt Corral Highlights
2021 has been Corral's coming-out party. He's accounted for 997 yards through the air, nine passing touchdowns, 158 yards on the ground, and five rushing touchdowns in three games. His video-game stat line has resulted in three wins and zero turnovers, too
Corral looks as comfortable as ever in the pocket. He's putting the ball on the money, making the right reads, and keeping defenses honest with his legs. The Ole Miss star tore up Louisville and Austin Peay in the first two weeks. When Tulane rolled into town for an old SEC matchup, he played out of his mind.
Take a look at this stat line: 23 for 31 with 335 passing yards and three passing touchdowns to go along with 68 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Corral became the first player in SEC history with three passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns in a single game. His performance was enough to tie Showboat Boykin's (awesome name) Ole Miss record for most TDs in a single game.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 20, 2021
I'd be remiss to say I'm not getting a lot of Johnny Manziel vibes. Corral's team has a real shot at competing in the SEC. He has plenty of big matchups to strengthen his case, including a marquee test on the road against Alabama and a home game against LSU.
An up-and-coming team with a star QB going into Tuscaloosa with nothing to lose? Sounds familiar. The Rebels have a bye week leading up to the big game. Everyone knows Lane Kiffin is a carbon copy of Andy Reid, and you don't want to face him coming off an idle week.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral is the guy you don't want to face this season.
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