No longer handcuffed by scholarship reductions and a two-year post-season ban, Day Two of SEC Media Days brings a lot of excitement to a recharged Ole Miss football program led by second-year head coach and Gulfport native Matt Luke.
The Rebels were the first of three teams to take the podium on Tuesday with a lot of focus on a return to normalcy. For the first time since 2014, Ole Miss is back to full capacity with 85 scholarship players, having signed 31 this off-season.
The Rebels also added two nationally renowned assistant coaches in Defensive Coordinator Mike McIntyre and Offensive Coordinator Rich Rodriguez.
Then there’s the guy running the offense, redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Corral, who is building a lot of hype as the successor to Jordan Ta’Amu. Head Coach Matt Luke said, “Matt has that competitive fire and that competitive nature. He was thrust into a leadership role and the kids rallied around him. And I think he was a great fit with Rich Rod and that edge and that passion that he coaches with, and so he was just a natural fit as a leader because of all those qualities that he has and I think people and the teammates gravitate to him because of that.”
Corral said, “Playing with that edge that Coach Luke and Rich Rod preach on us day in and day out. Playing with that confidence ‘cause we’re supposed to be here. And like I said, everyone is calling us inexperienced. Got a lot of the young players but the ceiling is high for the potential we have. D.K., A.J., DaMarkus Lodge, they were all freshman once, so I’m very excited for the future to come for the Ole Miss Rebels.”
Corral beat out three other freshman QBs during spring ball to win the starting job for 2019.