Florida Gator fans have grown accustomed to disappointment with their lack of offense and specifically poor QB play over the past few seasons. But, they were hoping that was about to change with California stud high school quarterback Matt Corral on his way to Gainesville.
Problem? That’s now, not happening.
Corral delivered the bad news for Gators everywhere, himself, on social media late Thursday night Eastern time.
— M A T T Y (@corral_matt) December 15, 2017
Notice in the post that Corral now has an Ole Miss avatar, because he has switched to the SEC West school. This, after visiting the Oxford campus and newly promoted head coach Matt Luke last weekend.
As Corral, who threw for 2,945 yards and 27 touchdowns in his senior season at Cal-Poly High School in Long Beach, says in the item to 24/7 sports: “I figured I wouldn’t miss a beat if I went there from California. It’s like home. The offense they run, it may not be what I’ve said in the past, but talking to people I trust and those I believe in, I know this won’t be a bad decision for me.”
He continued, “that offense will help me show off my talents on the biggest stage. Plus, and to top it all off, this is the SEC West.”
That last part stings the most-a kid from California understands that the SEC East with Florida, Tennessee and Georgia, once being destinations for recruits is now considered the weaker half.
New Gators coach Dan Mullen was doing everything he could to try to keep Corral, who, as we wrote in July had committed to former coach Jim McElwain and staff. Mullen visited Corral on Monday in California, and the Gators were expecting him to take one more official visit to Gainesville this weekend in advance of the new early signing day, next Wednesday.
Obviously, that is now not happening.
And it sends the Gators first year coach and staff scrambling to find a stud prospect for the future. Florida obviously still has Feleipe Franks, who was the on-off starter in 2017 and will be a redshirt sophomore next season.
Meanwhile, Corral will play in the “U.S. Army All American Bowl” All-Star game next month in San Antonio, and then will be an early enrollee at Ole Miss.
Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday
The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.
The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:
Coast to coast❗
🐻 at 🐊 2026
🐊 at 🐻 2027#GoGators
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) February 7, 2020
A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.
With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.
As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.
Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.
It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.
Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.
Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools
National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.
The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of former DB C.J. Henderson.
Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.
The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.
Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?
Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.
The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.
Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.
Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.