Last week, The Athletic’s Max Olson took a look at who could potentially be this year’s Mac Jones or Zach Wilson. The newly-anointed kid on the block that explodes on the scene and Icarito’s up NFL Draft boards.
Olson used the statistic “yards per play” to make his case for who is up there in 2021 to potentially be the next big thing. At the top of the list was Georgia’s JT Daniels with a rather small sample size at 8.99 yards per play. Right behind him, though, with a full 10-game sample size is Ole Miss’ Matt Corral at 8.77 yards per play.
The next closest to him is North Carolina’s Sam Howell, this offseason’s prince of 2022 NFL Draft hype, at 8.48.
Then, this week, the SEC Network begged this question on Twitter:
Naturally, there was a plethora of opposing fans who were mad online that our son was receiving positive accolades, but the guy had arguably the best single season since Chad Kelly’s meteoric rise in 2015.
Corral finished tops in the country in total yards (3,843 yards and 33 touchdowns) in year one of Lane Kiffin and Jeff Lebby’s offense. Now, after an offseason filled with turmoil in regards to the Rebel’s offensive coordinator’s job-standing, Ole Miss’ starting quarterback will be in year two of an offense for the first time ever.
The one thing, as evidenced above, that sets Corral apart is his affinity and surgical ability to punish opponent’s with the deep ball. See for yourself:
Matt Corral with a casual 55-yard flick of the wrist— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) November 28, 2020
Not many can throw with that kind of pinpoint accuracy, but there are very few who can do it AND drop it in a bucket.
Matt Corral hit a NASA spaceship with this ball— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) November 28, 2020
The tweet says it all. This was a fucking rainmaker.
Ole Miss QB Matt Corral — Stands in the pocket and delivers the fade ball knowing he’s about to take a shot, placed a bit inside but with enough distance for the WR to adjust #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/eWJBpOFnsq— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) November 10, 2020
All of Corral’s throws are NFL throws, but this one is just ridiculous.
Matt Corral to Elijah Moore connect on 91-yard touchdown play.— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) November 15, 2020
Lane Kiffin tosses his clipboard about 20 feet into the air during the play pic.twitter.com/Tbo5cvfDl3
This one, albeit not that difficult, is still beautiful.
Love how ready Matt Corral (@corral_matt) is to throw it. He was just waiting on the break from Dontario Drummond (@BigJohnDrummond) for the easy touchdown. Great anticipation, maybe could've looked elsewhere for a couple seconds though haha pic.twitter.com/eGL0DJC1U3— Michael Rochman (@MR_NFLDraft) November 25, 2020
The elegance of this touch is unmatched. So classy.
The anticipation for his growth in Kiffin and Lebby’s offense is through the roof for the 2021 season. The ceiling for this team is much higher than last season and if Corral can take the next step and then some, this team has DANGER ZONE written all over it for the SEC West.
Sure, the aura isn’t as widespread as Eli Manning or Chad Kelly, but Corral seems to have cleared his throat and is ready to announce his presence emphatically this season.