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July 20, 2021

Matt Corral

Hoover, Alabama, USA

Ole Miss Rebels

Press Conference

MATT CORRAL: I had a whole two months off, it felt like. I want to say we had a full two months off, and I learned a lot about myself, just understanding who I am as a person and understanding my weaknesses and focusing on my weaknesses to make them my strengths.

That one thing that -- that interview that I had with Dennis Dodd, it wasn't even like an interview, I was talking to him on the track at a high school campus. For me, I had a little different experience growing up. I wasn't the richest kid, but I wasn't the poorest, but I believe we all end up in a place for a reason, and I think a lot of people need to understand that.

Not everyone's going to understand your point of view, but as long as you do and you're doing the right thing, I think that's ultimately what matters.

Q. Matt, what do you remember competing against JT Daniels growing up, and what do you make of his game?

MATT CORRAL: I think JT Daniels is a great, great quarterback. He is truly your typical southern California quarterback. He's been one of the best ever since we've been in seventh grade. I remember it was an FBU All-American team or FBU All-Star team, and he was playing for the OC, Orange County, and I was playing for North L.A., and he was always beating me, always beating my team.

I hope we get to play him this season, but just seeing him grow, like I said, and watching everybody evolve from when I was knee high with these kids, and it's really a blessing just to see how everything turns out for us.

Q. Your matchup last year with Alabama was a really high-scoring game, and you guys came close, but lost an emotional one. Talk about the matchup this season week four, what you're excited about, going up against Bryce Young, somebody that you have history with as well.

MATT CORRAL: It's going to be fun. I competed against these guys since I was a freshman in high school. Bryce Young I didn't know until I was in high school, but he's another one, and I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Q. You mentioned earlier, fixing some of the mistakes like you had in the Arkansas and LSU game, but Daniel Jeremiah mentioned earlier that he thinks you could be prime to make a similar jump that Zach Wilson made to being such a high draft pick. What kind of role has Lane played in being able to unlock this level of your game?

MATT CORRAL: It is Lane, and it is -- it's a combination of everybody, Coach Lebby, Coach Kiffin, they've all done a great job of forming me into this quarterback ultimately. Not only a quarterback, but a better person off the field.

But they changed my whole thought process, man. They changed my whole thought process in how I look at a defense and how I just approach the game and the way I get ready for a game. It's something different that I didn't do two years ago when I was a freshman. Now it's become habit.

Truly, I'm blessed -- I got lucky with them. I did.

Q. NIL question for you. Lane Kiffin was talking to us about how he uses Twitter, how he seems to have a profile on that, and it seems like a lot of that NIL seems to be kind of having a brand, an awareness on Twitter. Do you learn anything from him and how to approach that? Does he talk to you all about how to use that and maybe create a little bit of presence there?

MATT CORRAL: Not necessarily him, but Ole Miss has done a good job of helping us navigating through this crazy time because, if you don't know what you're doing, it could get really cloudy, and you could end up doing something that could hurt you in your future.

But I've taken a different approach to it. You see everybody across the country trying to get what they can with any deal, any company, whatever it is. I'm all about making the right deals, one that we're looking for long-term deals that not necessarily are going to hurt me in the long run because I don't want to burn the bridges with companies that I haven't even made relationships with.

Q. Wondering your thoughts when you weren't able to play A&M last year, coming off that tough loss as a freshman. Does that add a little to this year's game?

MATT CORRAL: Definitely, A&M's a great team and would have definitely wanted to see how we matched up against them. I don't think we play them this year. I'm not sure. Do we play them this year? We do. Okay. Well, I'm looking forward to that matchup.

Q. Getting back to the original question I asked you about maintaining your confidence after the Arkansas game, and then the key to that and what's your confidence level going into this season to kind of take your game even to a higher level. And then Nick Saban apparently said at the Texas High School Coaches Convention that their quarterback, who hasn't even started, has got almost a million dollars, almost seven figures in NIL. What do you think about that, and how are you doing with it?

MATT CORRAL: As for the confidence deal, Coach Kiffin and Lebby, they kept me in that game for a reason. They didn't yank me. They made sure that I was the guy. They made sure that I knew that I was the guy, and I think that was -- that spoke volumes to me. That spoke volumes to the team. That gave me the confidence in myself that I could bounce back from it.

Kiffin brought me into the room after that game, and he told me that there's a reason that he didn't pull me. He said he believed in me. He said, I believe what you can do. I believe in your ability. You're our guy moving forward. Like there's no issue with me. We're going to get it fixed. So just having that relationship with him helped a lot.


MATT CORRAL: As for the NIL, that's really a blessing. I think that's going to be really good for people that didn't have the luxury growing up, these five star kids coming from the slums of Miami that just didn't really get the luxury of other kids on the football team. Just being able to create a different opportunity for their family.

Q. I know you've gotten a taste of the Egg Bowl in the past, but this year, things getting back to normal, you get to go Starkville to play, how excited are you about that matchup?

MATT CORRAL: I mean, playing against State is always a good one. Looking forward to it. The energy in that game, it's unmatched. It's unmatched. For those who have been there, you can attest to that. Definitely looking forward to it.

Q. Sorry to keep harping on this Arkansas game. I'm sure it's one you'd probably like to flush. You sort of alluded to it, but how much extra motivation might you have for that game when you guys play Arkansas?

MATT CORRAL: I mean, none really. I know I messed up, and I know I have an opportunity to fix it. That's all the motivation I need.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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