It’s funny sometimes how quickly the fortunes of a football team can turn based on a few additions and look no further than Long Beach Poly right now for an example of that.
After a few down years by Jackrabbit standards, Poly has seen three high profile transfers this off-season in QB Matt Corral, WR Jalen Hall and DB Aashari Croswell, and today there was a notable buzz back on the practice field for the Poly College Showcase.
With more than a dozen college programs represented, the Poly players went through a series of combine tests, position drills, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team work with all three of their new stars on full display. Don’t get me wrong, the Jackrabbits as always have their share of talented athletes across the board (6-3 CB Tyric LeBeauf is one to watch this year, while 2021 QB Jacob Garcia is a name for the future) but the three transfers are a reminder of a time when Poly regularly had multiple recruits high in the national rankings.
I was anxious to see Corral (photo above) in his new surroundings after the transfer from Oaks Christian, and there was no doubt right away that Matt was in command on the field. First of all, his talent demands it. There was a big difference in the throwing drills between the ball that Corral threw and the other quarterbacks on the roster. His arm is so strong, and he was so crisp today, and he was directing traffic to make sure his receivers ran the correct routes. I realize Matt had his share of good athletes to throw to at Oaks from Michael and Mycah Pittman to Colby Parkinson, but it’s easy to imagine him lighting it up in the fall with this group (and that didn’t even include Camren McDonald, who sat out the drills today).
Of course, it helps for Corral to look good when he is throwing to Jalen Hall, who looked as good today as any time I’ve seen him this spring. And I’m guessing Corral is as good as any QB Hall has caught passes from, so it goes both ways. As Darrell Rideaux said while watching drills, “Hall is a tree, that’s a red zone nightmare” while referring to Jalen’s height, and he also showed good chemistry with Matt considering how little they have worked together to this point. Hall’s former Hawkins teammate Joseph Lewis was in attendance, and he said he is at 215 pounds right now.
Crosswell is one of those players who seems like he is flying under the radar a little bit in terms of hype considering how talented he is at safety. I can’t think of a school that would take a back seat to Poly in terms of tradition in the secondary and Aashari looks like he will fit right in. He actually took some reps in early receiver drills, he looks good on offense but he looks a lot better on defense.
It was good to see Trojan Butkus Award winner Chris Claiborne back on the sidelines again while coaching up the Poly linebackers.
The Jackrabbits will waste no time testing themselves as they will be part of a 4-way passing tournament on Wednesday that includes Serra and Narbonne.