Advertisement
Matt Corral Ole Miss
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Heisman Trophy winners can appear out of thin air. Who would’ve predicted Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel would win in 2012? Louisville’s Lamar Jackson in 2016? Or Alabama’s DeVonta Smith last year?

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

RELATED: Lane Kiffin’s Ex-Wife is the Daughter of an SEC Quarterback Legend

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

Advertisement

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.

Corral’s red hot start has catapulted him to the Heisman favorite, ahead of Rattler, Howell, Alabama’s Bryce Young, and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud. He’s also shot up NFL Draft boards.

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.

Advertisement

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.

MORE: Archie Manning Torched Alabama for 540 Yards in Prime Time

Related Videos

Joe Grobeck About the author:
Joe is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Austin, Texas. He believes Ndaumkong Suh should've won the 2009 Heisman and is an avid basketball fan.
View More Articles

Stories You Might Like