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Eighteen years after he became the first — and thus far only — Ole Miss player to be selected first overall in the NFL Draft, Eli Manning is now dispensing advice to another Rebels QB who is eyeing the NFL, Matt Corral.
“He told me to just be myself, and that’s honestly the best advice I’ve ever gotten because you don’t really understand that until you’re towards the end of this process,” Corral said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show.
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It’s easy to see why Corral sought Manning’s insight. Both starred at Ole Miss — Manning is the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, while Corral’s third — and as they did with Eli nearly 20 years ago, many now believe that Corral will be even better as a pro than he was in college.
“Eli, he has been a great communicator when I’ve been asking questions,” Corral added. “I just wanted to pick his brain a little bit.”
Corral and Manning established a relationship as soon as Corral enrolled at Ole Miss, and Corral says that most of their conversations have been about off the field matters.
That makes sense since he seems to have the whole quarterbacking thing under control. In four seasons with the Rebels, Corral threw for more than 8,000 yards, tossed more than twice as many touchdowns as picks (57 to 23), and added another 18 scores on the ground.
He’ll lean on those stats and, per Manning’s advice, his own authenticity to try and entice a team to select him early in this month’s Draft.
“It took me a while just to be myself in these interviews,” said Corral, currently projected to be selected in either the first or second round. “Don’t try to make it not authentic. You want to make it real and show that you’re not just BS-ing your way through these interviews.”
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He’s off to a good start.