BEAVERTON, Ore. — Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) has won 19 CIF Section titles in football, but the last one was five years ago. This year, the Jackrabbits have a duo that may return one of the largest high schools in the state to pigskin prominence.
Receiver Jalen Hall and Matt Corral have only been together on campus a few months, and if they don’t always finish each other’s sentences, they are interviewing each other at Nike’s The Opening here.
“How do you feel having the type of receiver like myself?” said Hall, in true receiver fashion, making the question about himself.
“Uh, I feel good,” Corral said, laughing. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a bad ball. I have a trust with you that I don’t have with any other receiver. I’m not saying I don’t trust every receiver at Poly, because every starter at Poly I can trust. Wait, that came out bad.”
“Just tell them about the connections,” Hall interjects.
“Yes, it’s the chemistry that we have,” Corral said. “Here, we still have that chemistry, it’s just not at our high school.”
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Hall transferred from Hawkins (Los Angeles) in April. Last season, he had 50 catches for 1,164 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Corral has been at Poly since February as he transferred from West Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) after throwing for 3,188 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.
Various reports reported a scuffle at a basketball game between Corral and Tristan Gretzky, the son of Wayne Gretzky, as the reason for Corral’s departure from West Oaks Christian. Corral said he feels more comfortable at Poly.
“I went from people pulling up (to school) in Bentleys and Ferraris to regular living, just like me,” Corral said. “I liked it. The transition was easy. I could throw on what I went to bed in yesterday and just put on my slippers and go to school.”
Corral has been a hot topic lately because he recently backed out of his commitment to Southern Cal, though the Trojans are still among his favorite schools.
“SC is still in it,” Corral said. “SC, Miami, Georgia, Florida and Alabama,” Corral said. Georgia was the latest to show interest in Corral and he said the chance to learn from Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm is intriguing.
“(The attraction is) the amount of knowledge that I can get so I could better myself in the future,” Corral said. “It’s not every year that you’re going to get a true freshman starting quarterback. I think learning from Jacob Eason and Fromm could benefit me as a quarterback and a person, if I do decide to go there.”
Corral and Hall have been training together since the late spring and they’ll play on same team at The Opening and two of Poly’s plays are in their rotation for the 7-on-7 event.
“I think our relationship is really coming together,” Corral said. “We’re starting to form a relationship outside of football. … We have others around him, but I think teams are going to be focused on that five-star kid and I think that’s going to put us over the edge. I think Jalen is going to be a good distraction. He’s going to have his time, but he’ll let other receivers shine.”
“We might even go to college together,” Hall said. “Our connection is going to get that much stronger, even off the field.”