In a recent interview with the Ole Miss Spirit’s David Johnson, offensive coordinator Phil Longo made it clear that he has no reservations with letting former four-star, Elite 11 quarterback Matt Corral spin it this season.
“I love working with Matt,” Longo said. “At this point, there is not a plan to redshirt Matt Corral.”
During Ole Miss’ annual spring game, it was very clear that Corral was the back-up to returning starter Jordan Ta’amu as he took most the second team reps and fellow back-ups were working at other positions. Both Alex Faniel and Jason Pellerin were working at tight end during spring practice and do not look to be an apparent threat to Corral getting the reps in mop-up duty in 2018.
Longo did clear the air a bit when asked about who would be Corral’s back-up.
“One of them (Faniel or Pellerin) will be the legitimate third-team quarterback,” Longo told the Ole Miss Spirit. “Both are very competent. Jason has SEC experience at the position and Alex can throw it. It really won’t be much different than last season.”
But will they actually be viable candidates to back up the position? Me thinks no. Faniel hasn’t played a snap yet in college and Pellerin has been working exclusively at tight end for the last two seasons outside of a few goal line packages.
But in all reality, this is fine. The 6’1, 203-pounder from Long Beach, Calif. needs the exposure and the experience because it is more than likely that this is Ta’amu’s last season in an Ole Miss uniform. The Rebs need Corral to get acclimated, learn the offense, and be prepared to lead the offense in 2019. If you are thinking that you are going to need Matt ready to take first-team snaps next season, then there is zero reason to redshirt him.
The newest Rebel backup QB and latest Elite 11 signal caller to sign up brings a lot of hype after throwing for 10,178 yards and 103 touchdowns in high school against some of the nation’s best on the West Coast. The U.S. Army All-American was a key figure in Matt Luke’s first signing class and essentially holds the keys to his future as a head coach in Oxford.
In my opinion, it is in Luke’s best interest to get Corral ready as soon as possible. Not redshirting him in 2018 is a step in the right direction.