Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports/FS1 and Sports Illustrated reported early Wednesday morning that Miami Dolphins assistant linebackers coach will be returning to Oxford as an analyst on interim head coach Matt Luke’s coaching staff. The report was confirmed by Kyle Campbell, Ole Miss’ Associate A.D. for Communications, that he actually joined the staff July 6th. It is unclear at this time whether that will be in an on-field capacity or not, but needless to say, wherever he is, he will make a difference.
Corrao, who has spent the last eight seasons in Miami with the Dolphins, not only brings NFL experience but he also brings NFL success. In 2010, his position group was an absolute machine. Cameron Wake made his first career Pro Bowl appearance as an outside linebacker after he collected 57 total tackles and 14 sacks. Not to be outdone two years later, Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby combined for 244 tackles at the linebacker position. Then, in 2013, Dannell Ellerbe was all over the place, making 101 tackles for the Fins. All were career-high single-season tackle numbers for the aforementioned players.
Another feather in David’s cap is his experience working with multiple defensive schemes. As an assistant in the 305, he worked with two different head coaches and defensive schemes; a 3-4 from 2008 to 2011 and a 4-3 from 2012 to 2015. He also held the role of defensive coordinator for one year at Northern Michigan in 2016.
Prior to joining the Dolphins, David was on the Ole Miss staff under Ed Orgeron. There, he worked for DACOACHO as a defensive graduate assistant coach which gave him the opportunity to work with someone named Patrick Willis, maybe you’ve heard of him. Corrao played a role in transforming Willis from a lowly three-star from Bruceton, Tenn. to a first-team All-American, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and arguably one of the greatest players to ever put on a college football uniform.
What does this mean?
Because we don’t know for sure, we are going to assume he will be working side-by-side with new linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto in hopes of transforming an entire position group this time and not just one guy. The 2017 signing class wasn’t exactly bulletin board material, but the Rebels upgraded because they added depth AND a proven position coach in the off-season.
Now, all Corrao is being asked to do is work with Peveto to help improve a defense that allowed 34 points per game and 246.3 rushing yards per game in 2016, which ranked last in the Southeastern Conference. Should be easy, right? Since he has been on staff since the first week of July, we can also assume that he has already begun to build a rapport with his players and has been in the film room with them as well.
This will also be a nice proverbial jolt in the arm for recruiting as well. The 2018 class is pretty slim at the moment (nine commits, two linebackers) and needs to add more and more depth, especially at linebacker. With that said, it’s never a bad thing to add a NFL assistant to your staff (SPOILER: recruits like being coached by guys who have been at the NFL level).
Prior to joining Orgeron’s Ole Miss staff, Corrao coached tight ends at Northeastern University in 2004, was a graduate assistant at Syracuse from 2000-2003 and also coached several years at the high school level.