Recruiting Video: David Cornwell
Alabama Recruiting Update
Profile of Quarterback David Cornwell
By Dave Friedman
When David Cornwell enrolls at Alabama in January, shortly after his football season ends at Norman (Okla.) North High School, it will be another step on a long twisty road for one of the top quarterback recruits in the country. He has attended four high schools in three states and dealt with adversity in the form of his mother becoming very ill, his dad’s job moving around the country, and uncertainty whether he’d be able to play football this season.
At just over six feet tall, there is nothing odd about the fact Cornwell played freshman ball at Millard South High in Omaha, Neb and then moved up to the school’s JV squad as a sophomore. However, after two years in Nebraska, the family moved to Florida to accommodate his dad’s job. He enrolled in school but never played a down for Ponte Vedra High School because his mom got sick with a thyroid illness. Cornwell spent the year trying to help out his family, football and school took a backseat to caring for his mom, who at times seemed as though she might not make it. Thankfully, she got better, but the family left Florida for Oklahoma City because of his dad’s work. Having grown to 6’4” Cornwell became the starter at Jones High School. He passed for 27 touchdowns and more than 2,700 yards in what was his fourth season in high school, but only his third playing football. Before this season he moved to Norman North, but was declared ineligible. After a prolonged fight, he was granted a extra semester of eligibility because of missing the fall 2011 semester when his mom was sick.
At 6’5” and between 230 and 240 pounds Norman North Offensive Coordinator Brent Barnes says that David Cornwell has the type of ability that can not be taught.
“I’ve never seen another high school quarterback with his type of arm strength,” said Barnes. “It is rarely needed, but he can get the ball out when there is pressure, and when he sets his feet the ball always gets to his receivers. He has raw ability, size, and arm strength. He also has enough mobility to extend plays as a pocket passer.”
David Cornwell has frequently been compared to Ben Roethlisberger because of his size, strength, and ability to wrestle himself out of trouble in the pocket. Barnes says that Cornwell has acclimated to Norman North well.
“He has always worn the number five, and we had it available,” said Barnes. “However, we have a senior wide receiver, Nick Basquine, who has wanted it for a long time because it is his baseball number. David let him go ahead and have it. That was a major leadership step for him. It was a big start to the year.”
Wearing number 10, David Cornwell has become a presence around campus.
“He’s a great leader,” said Barnes. “People rally around him. He gets guys motivated. He is a confident kid and he instills confidence in those around him. He’s very much in command of what we’re doing. He gets credit when things go well and takes blame when they don’t. He understands and takes that role on.”
Barnes says that David Cornwell has the skill set that could allow him to play at Alabama immediately, and will benefit from being an early enrollee. However, he notes that it will take time to grasp the offense, pick up the speed of the game, and become comfortable.
“He’s a loose guy, enjoys life, and is rarely not in a good mood,” said Barnes. “There is little for him to be upset about these days.”