Ole Miss football legends Eli Manning, Archie Manning praise QB Matt Corral
THIBODAUX, La. — The two most famous quarterbacks in Ole Miss history are getting a firsthand look at the future of Ole Miss at quarterback. And Archie Manning and Eli Manning are impressed with the player set to take over as the starter as this fall.
Matt Corral, a redshirt freshman, is one of more than 40 quarterbacks working as camp counselors this week at the Manning Passing Academy, hosted at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Along with brothers Peyton Manning and Cooper Manning, Archie and Eli help run the camp, which is in its 24th year, beginning when Eli was in high school.
So what does the patriarch of the Manning family see in Corral? Archie Manning, who started at Ole Miss between 1968 and 1970, said he's been impressed not just with Corral's ability, but his drive as well.
"Matt, at our throwing session yesterday, looked really good," Archie Manning said Friday. "Unfortunately he got sick this morning. I feel bad for him. He's so disappointed because he said he wanted to be here and compete. That's not really what this camp is about, competing. But I hope we can get him well so he can participate in the camp. I think he's really going to be a good player."
Eli, an Ole Miss quarterback from 2000-03, echoed his dad's opinion on Corral as a passer.
"I've met Matt a few times before, but I got to see him throw yesterday," Eli Manning said. "I came out and got to work with him and a bunch of the other quarterbacks yesterday. He's a good kid. He throws it real well. So I'm excited. I'm excited for Ole Miss and excited for him."
Rich Rodriguez is a 'good offensive man'
Corral will be an integral part of Ole Miss' new look offense in 2019, helmed by first-year offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez. Previously the head coach at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, Rodriguez brings a downhill spread offense with him, one which he used to help pioneer the use of the read option in college football.
Based on accounts from the spring, Rodriguez's offense will be more physical and involve a little bit more of a run focus than the Ole Miss offenses of the past few seasons. Archie Manning says he's encouraged by Rodriguez's presence as Ole Miss' offensive coordinator and anticipates a potential turnaround for the Rebels after a 5-7 campaign in 2018.
"I think he's a good offensive man, so hopefully we can get the offense going up there," Archie Manning said. "In that league, you better have some offense and some defense. It's a tough league. But Matt's a young player and I'm sure he'll get better under Rich's guidance."
Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.