Matt Corral says farewell to Ole Miss football, calls Vanderbilt last game in Oxford
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral announced Friday night he would not return to the Rebels football program after the 2021 season.
Corral did not explicitly declare for the NFL Draft in his statement Friday but head coach Lane Kiffin was sure to tag @NFLDraft in his tweet congratulating Corral.
The junior quarterback has good draft odds — ESPN's Jordan Reid projected Corral would be the first quarterback off the board in 2022. Corral also has the fourth-best odds (+700) of winning the Heisman Trophy entering Week 12, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
In a tweet, Corral said Saturday night's game against Vanderbilt will be his last game at Vaught Hemingway Stadium. The season concludes at Mississippi State on Thanksgiving Day.
"As I think about my final game at The Vaught, I really don't know where to start. I'll begin with how different our coaching staff is — a good different. It's a staff built on relationships and mentoring. We truly have a one-of-kind program at Ole Miss," Corral said in a statement on Twitter.
Corral went on to thank Kiffin, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jeff Lebby, strength and conditioning coach Wilson Love and analyst Matt Holecek.
He then showed love to Rebel Nation and thanked them for the love and support he received in his four years at Ole Miss.
"I really mean it when I say this team means something to me," Corral said. "The other leaders and I formed a bond on this team that came together when times were tough. When nobody was clapping for us, we were the ones holding it together. The love on this team was and is unmatched. It's something that I will forever remember. Locker rooms like this are rare.
"Thank you Ole Miss, and my brothers and I look forward to finishing this journey with Rebel Pride."
Ole Miss football players and coaches, including Lebby, analyst Michael Nysewander, running backs coach Kevin Smith, Nick Broeker and tight ends coach John Savid Baker tweeted their support for Corral on Friday.
The Ole Miss football Twitter account also tweeted a minute-long video of Corral's highlights with the caption, "One word: #Hei2man"
So far in the 2021 season, Corral has thrown for 2,774 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.