Shotgun Spratling |

Matt Corral not concerned with USC's 2017 QB recruiting

USC quarterback commit Matt Corral is focused on the future and improving each day rather than worrying about who else the Trojans might try to recruit at his position.

In a span of four days, USC fans saw one quarterback surprisingly get selected in the third round of the NFL Draft and a potential quarterback choose to go elsewhere after being a heavy lean to the Trojans.

While some USC fans were waiting the announcement of 2017 Honolulu (Calif.) St. Louis School four-star southpaw quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the future leader of the Trojans, four-star 2018 quarterback commit Matt Corral, wasn’t concerned.

“I knew about him. It wouldn’t really have mattered on my commitment,” Corral said. “I would have stuck whether or not he committed to us or not.”

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian gunslinger admitted he pays attention to how the USC coaching staff is approaching quarterback recruiting with the 2017 class, but says it won’t affect the decision he made to commit.

“I look at it sometimes but I mean there’s going to be competition everywhere I go…and I’m up for it.”

He knows there are going to be other talented quarterbacks on the roster. Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell has prepared him for that. Redell spent the 1961 season at USC where the Trojans rotated between quarterbacks Bill Nelsen and Pete Beathard, who combined to play 21 seasons in the NFL after their time as Trojans. And according to Redell, they weren’t the only talented QBs on the roster.

“When he was in college, he went there for a year and there were five quarterbacks and all five of those quarterbacks went to the league,” Corral said. “That’s just one of the reasons why I committed [to USC]. It’s Quarterback University by far.”

That statement might not be 100 percent accurate as quarterbacks Ben Charles and Craig Fertig were both drafted, but didn’t play in the NFL. However, it does showcase the quarterback heritage at USC.

Since that 1961 season, USC has had 22 quarterbacks picked in the draft. Cody Kessler's selection in the third round made him the seventh signal caller selected from USC since 2003 while no other school has more than four.

Shotgun Spratling |
Corral hopes to one day join that list, but for him, being a quarterback at USC is still a surreal endeavor. After attending the spring game and sitting in on a couple of USC’s quarterback meetings since his February commitment, Corral came away a bit wide-eyed.

“It’s actually pretty crazy. I never like really pictured myself sitting in a university’s football quarterback meeting room. Just sitting in that chair that has an SC logo on the back is just crazy.”

Corral may one day be under center for the Trojans at the Coliseum, but for now he’s trying to lead Oaks Christian. On Saturday, the Lions participated in a four-team 7-on-7 session with West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade, San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra and Calabasas (Calif.). 

Corral had an up-and-down day that featured several really nice deep throws and connections over the middle with Stanford tight end commit Colby Parkinson with four or five interceptions sprinkled in. After a rough middle game against JSerra, he finished strong with a lights out performance against Chaminade, including back-to-back deep ball touchdowns on Oaks Christian’s first two possessions.

“I feel like it went pretty well. I learned a lot,” Corral said. “Coach [Jim] Benkert got on me a couple times for bad reads. That's just the first time we ran our formations. I made a few mistakes there and we fixed it.” Last season, Corral had the luxury of throwing to USC freshman receiver Michael Pittman as well as Parkinson and Pittman’s speedy younger brother, Mycah. As the lynchpin of the 2018 recruiting class, Corral is working to recruit a strong receiving corps to join him at USC.

“I'm talking to a couple of Florida boys from St. Thomas Aquinas, American Heritage and talking to T.J. [Pledger] too, but he keeps on messing with me,” Corral said with a chuckle as the Chaminade star running back walked by.

Other programs are still trying to talk to Corral, but it seems to be a fruitless task as he continues to strengthen his bond with the Trojan coaching staff, particularly the Helton brothers.

“I feel like our relationship for sure got stronger [since my commitment]. I’m closer with Tyson and Coach Clay. Every time I go out there, it’s just like me saying “What's up?” to good friends. It’s just a good time.”

Check out Matt Corral's highlights from The Opening Los Angeles Regional earlier this spring: Top Stories