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Matt Corral looks to build on last season as spring practice closes

The new starter follows Jordan Ta’amu, Chad Kelly, and Bo Wallace in a legacy of productive, gun-slinging QB’s.

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Mississippi Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss football will hold its annual spring scrimmage extravaganza known commonly as the Grove Bowl on Saturday at 3 p.m. And lining up behind center will be a new quarterback whose potential is not completely known by most Rebel fans.

Matt Corral had a few highlights in blowout wins, and the casual fan may most likely remember him for the last game of the season in 2018.

Helmets came off in a skirmish during the 2018 Egg Bowl and the heated rivalry found its newest focal point in Corral. The 6’1” 207 lbs. then freshman QB had come into the game for an injured Jordan Ta’amu and led the team seemingly to a touchdown by wide receiver A.J. Brown when pushes and shoves escalated on the field.

This is usually when you’d see a QB try to intervene and talk his teammates to its sideline, but our very strong and handsome new QB son Corral jumped into the fray with his helmet ultimately being jerked off by an opponent.

Corral, on a misguided maroon hand, was seen as a cocky, hot headed and overly painted up “prima-donna” so to speak. On the other sophistic-ant hand, Rebel fans saw a fiery leader sure to spark a team desperately in need of an outspoken, talented quarterback.

As of tomorrow, this is now fully Corral’s offense to run in Oxford, and expectations will most likely be rather moderate due to the loss of three starting wide receivers (Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Demarkus Lodge) and starting tight end Dawson Knox. All of which should be taken in this month’s NFL Draft.

But, Corral brings a ton of talent to the position that has been a major focal point in Oxford since Dr. Bo Wallace, Chad Kelly, transfer Shea Patterson, and Ta’amu respectively took the field. The rising sophomore from California was the No. 3 overall pro-style quarterback prospect in the 2018 class according to Rivals, No. 4 by 247Sports, and No. 6 by ESPN.

Ole Miss fans haven’t seen much in terms of production just yet from Corral to really gauge future success, however. Corral played in four games last season compiling 16 of 22 passing for 239 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He additionally tacked on 13 rushes for 83 yards and two touchdowns — most of which came from a 61-yard TD run against Louisiana-Monroe.

The young quarterback will have a revamped offense to adjust to as well under new offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez. Corral’s flashes of speed and quickness could serve well in a run-pass option style of offense seen from Rodriguez’s past teams. At Arizona in 2017, quarterback Khalil Tate rushed for more than 1,400 yards and passed for nearly 1,600 yards in Rodriguez’s offense on the way to a bowl appearance.

Corral has been nothing but confident in his abilities if you follow him on social media, showing some leadership for teammates looking for it behind center.

With spring practice coming to a close, this is essentially Corral’s program to rebuild with a relatively new nWo and a brand new offense. Rebel fans have seen flashes of good play from Corral, but where he takes this team will heavily rely on his ability to get other players to rally behind him.

And being the guy who jumps into the fight against a rival is one hell of a way to start that legacy.