Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral rolled the dice one more time, capping his college career with a Sugar Bowl appearance. His early exit with a leg injury quite possibly will complicate his prospects at the next level.
It’s still too early to know the extent of the injury. After the game, Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin told reporters that X-rays were negative. That’s only part of the story, however; ligament damage won’t show up on an X-ray.
Kiffin also addressed his own emotions after seeing Corral get injured.
“That’s obviously a difficult situation, especially when a kid’s playing in the game, you know, so my mind raced with a lot of thoughts right there, you know, and that’s just my love for him, just like I would if it was my own son in that situation,” Kiffin said, via ESPN.com. “Maybe I didn’t do a great enough job with the team, because I was really hurting for him in that situation because I know how much he’s put into it, how much it means to him. And for that to be taken away like that, you know, it really sucks.”
While the injury could impact Corral’s draft stock and delay his ability to make a difference when his career commences, Kiffin (the former coach of the Raiders) is confident that Corral eventually will become a great NFL player.
“He’s gonna make a great NFL player and do great for a franchise,” Kiffin said. He added a concrete example of the leadership Corral will be able to provide.
“He’s been unbelievable and things that you don’t see besides the playing, just how he is,” Kiffin said. “And I had a cool moment this morning, the team meeting, just listening to him talk. And I told our own coaches and players, ‘You can be a freshman and you’re supposed to listen to the leaders. You can be a 50-year-old coach, and you should listen to this guy.’”
Hopefully, the injury won’t prevent Corral from doing that at the next level, even if it may delay it for a bit.