Five-star QB Matt Corral commits to Florida, giving Gators a true gunslinger

By Adam Silverstein
July 22, 2017
Five-star QB Matt Corral commits to Florida, giving Gators a true gunslinger

Image Credit: Matt Corral / Twitter

The Florida Gators have landed their big fish. One day after attending the program’s standout Friday Night Lights camp — his first visit to the school — five-star quarterback Matt Corral (Long Beach, CA) committed to Florida, providing the Gators with a gunslinger and lead dog for their Class of 2018.

Corral (6-foot-2, 196 pounds) is rated as the No. 23 overall player in the nation and listed as a five-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite. The U.S. Army All-American is considered the seventh-best player in the nation and a five-star recruit by Rivals.

“After thoughtful consideration and talking with my family, I have decided to take my talents to the University of Florida! #AllBite18,” Corral wrote on Twitter. “Let’s do something special #GatorNation.”

Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and linebackers coach Tim Skipper deserve a ton of credit for Corral’s commitment as the two had been all over him since his decommitment from USC back on June 17.

Corral, who was supposedly down to a final two of Florida and Georgia, was scheduled to visit the Bulldogs next week after returning home to California but has cancelled that trip.

A pro-style signal caller who may be the most natural passer Florida has recruited since Rex Grossman, Corral possesses the necessary arm talent with a smooth delivery but also flashes high intelligence and quick feet. He will need to add bulk to his frame, but as a scheduled early enrollee, that should not be a problem. Corral completed 151-of-235 passes for 3,025 yards with 22 touchdowns and three interceptions as a junior.

Accepting a verbal commitment from Corral likely takes the Gators out of the sweepstakes for five-star QB Justin Fields (Kennesaw, GA), who also attended FNL this week. After decommitting from Penn State, Fields was expected to choose between Florida (which had long pursued him) and Auburn; however, his recruitment has taken a turn with Florida State and Georgia jumping into the mix and appearing to be higher priorities than UF.

Adding Corral to the fold takes a rather average recruiting class and gives it an opportunity to be something special. The Gators jumped from 61 to 30 in the 247Sports Team Rankings after adding four commitments earlier this week. With Corral as its 12th commitment, Florida’s class is now ranked 17th nationally with just over six months until National Signing Day.

Corral is the highest-rated recruit head coach Jim McElwain has been solely responsible for since taking over the Gators. His first Florida recruiting class included the No. 2 and No. 7 players in the nation, though Will Muschamp and his staff did much of the leg work on those players.

He is the highest rated quarterback pledge since Jeff Driskel in 2011 and would be the highest rated pro-style QB to join the program since Chris Leak in 2003.

By the time Corral joins the Gators, he will primarily be competing for the starting job with then-redshirt sophomores Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask, then-redshirt senior Luke Del Rio and likely then-redshirt freshman Jake Allen.

Jacob Copeland (69)
Emory Jones* (85)
Richard Gouraige (81)
Justin Watkins (89)
Kyle Pitts* (161)
Amari Burney* (177)
Trey Dean* (195)
Dameon Pierce* (201)
Andrew Chatfield (213)
David Reese* (296)
Iverson Clement*
Malik Langham
John Huggins*
Chris Bleich*
Randy Russell*
Dante Lang^
Evan McPherson*
Griffin McDowell
Noah Banks*

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