Matt Corral playing for Rebels at Panthers training camp

Former Ole Miss football star Matt Corral may have burned all bridges back to Oxford already.

Matt Corral has yet to take a snap for the Carolina Panthers, but this former Ole Miss football star may not be welcomed back at a tailgate in The Grove this fall.

Corral told Varun Shankar of the Charlotte Observer at Panthers training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina that he picked Ole Miss because he wanted to start right away, and he may have regretted his college decision.

“I took the easy way out because I felt I could play right away,” said Corral to Varun Shankar of the Charlotte Observer at Panthers training camp. “Knowing what I know now and trusting my instincts and trusting my work ethic, I would have went to a place that would have made me compete.”

Keep in mind Corral is a Southern California native who had initially committed to play for Jim McElwain at Florida. After a 2017 college season defined by a shark photo, Corral decommitted and flipped to the Landsharks to play for the recently retired Matt Luke. After redshirting his true freshman season in 2018, Corral led Ole Miss to a 10-win season last year and the Sugar Bowl.

This is not a ringing endorsement of Lane Kiffin’s offense or the one Jeff Lebby runs at Oklahoma.

Matt Corral admits to not being challenged playing quarterback at Ole Miss

Corral was dinged throughout the 2022 NFL Draft process more for what is going on upstairs than the leg he injured in the Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor. His knee injury was not seen as a major one, but there are reasons why he had to wait until the third round to hear his name called by the Panthers. For now, Corral will be backing up either Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield during his rookie season.

It is not that he had to transfer back in high school, or that he reportedly had some fun in college (we all have), it is saying something like this less than a year after helping his alma mater have one of its best seasons since Johnny Vaught coached the Rebels. NFL stands for Not For Long, and there are no guarantees Corral will have staying power in the league. But in Oxford, he was a star.

Ultimately, Corral should look back on his time at Ole Miss as nothing but a positive experience. We know who he is because of what he did on Fall Saturdays in the SEC West. He could become something special in Carolina, but for now, he is only a rookie. Though Kiffin and Lebby may not run a prototypical pro system, their offenses put up numbers and make everybody look awesome.

Fortunately for him, Corral is in a spot where he will have to compete for everything this season.

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