Tuesday, February 26, 2013
OKPreps 14 for '14: QB David Cornwell
By Bob Przybylo
Is the Class of 2014 crop of in-state talent the best Oklahoma has seen since 2006? With six recruits in the ESPN Watch List, it’s shaping up to be a busy recruiting year in the Sooner State. For the next three weeks, SoonerNation is going to profile the OKPreps’ 14 for ’14: a look at some of the top names and where they stand with OU.
Watch List QB David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./North, 6-5, 215) 2012 stats (at Jones, Okla.): 191-of-338 for 2,742 yards with 27 touchdowns, 8 interceptions. 128 rushes for 755 yards, 6 touchdowns.
Watch List quarterback David Cornwell admits it would be hard to turn down an offer from Alabama.
Cornwell is still learning the recruiting game. Last month he issued a preliminary top five. A month later, four of those schools aren’t in it and now he’s done releasing lists.
After alienating some schools because they weren’t there originally, Cornwell is not releasing anything. Good thing, too, because his top five in February most likely won’t be his top five in April. Not with how fast everything is changing for Cornwell.
In the span of a year, he has gone from a diamond in the rough to now being expected to be one of the top quarterbacks for the 2014 class.
He’s not unproven. He’s not a question mark. The question now will be how will he do with an even bigger spotlight shining on him? A recent transfer from Jones, Okla., to Norman (Okla.) North has definitely raised his profile.
He’s fine with that.
“It’s awesome so far,” Cornwell said. “Norman is great, and it helps living in a college town. One day my parents came in and told me we were going to Norman. I don’t want to move again.”
If you live in Norman, the expectation is you’re supposed to end up down the road at OU. That’s not the case right now for Cornwell, but he hasn’t shut out the Sooners, either.
Cornwell and OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel only recently reconnected after a long period of inactivity. Cornwell camped at OU in the summer but never took an unofficial visit to campus during the fall.
OU might have been the only campus Cornwell didn’t see this fall as few recruits were as active as him. It’s also something Cornwell is learning. It’s time to breathe. The days of seeing Arkansas in the morning and Alabama at night are behind him.
“I didn’t go anywhere the last two weekends. It has been nice to just stay home and be like a regular kid,” Cornwell said. “I’ve talked to a lot of coaches and that’s been their advice, too, to just take it easy.”
Well, as easy as Cornwell can allow. He has taken a proactive approach to his recruitment going back to getting an offer from Indiana last summer even though he hadn’t started one varsity game.
The offer total is nine with each school adding something different. Tennessee, Miami (Fla.) and Oklahoma State are some of the recent ones joining schools such as Virginia Tech and Auburn.
But the elephant in the room is Alabama. And that’s a giant elephant right now with the success the Crimson Tide are having under coach Nick Saban. Cornwell visited the campus in the fall and was there last month for junior day. He said he expects to talk with Saban sometime this week.
How tough would it be for Cornwell to stay patient if Alabama offered?
“They’re a different breed right now. They’re a machine,” Cornwell said. “If they did offer, it would be tough to say no.”
Cornwell has developed a solid rapport with coaches but his favorite coach is Alabama quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier. He is quickly learning that these relationships go beyond the field but can turn into lifelong friendships, something he feels with Nussmeier.
But there’s still time to develop more relationships. He spoke to OSU coach Mike Gundy for the first time two weeks ago and has been trying to be in contact with Heupel more on a regular basis.
Cornwell isn’t looking to commit tomorrow, but he also doesn’t want to wait too long. His tentative plan is for June or July although he’s well aware of how quickly things can change.
Junior days might be in the books, but Cornwell is excited to get back out there for spring practices. There are no shortages of schools on the agenda.
“I’d like to hit Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and OU for spring practices,” Cornwell said.
He has been a little hesitant toward the Sooners because of all the attention OU has given fellow OKPreps Watch List quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe).
Don’t get it twisted. It’s not sour grapes as Cornwell said he respects Hansen and knows he is worthy of the offer. But Cornwell also knows he has to go where he is wanted the most. And if OU has its targets set on Hansen, then it might be wise for him to look another direction.
Right now, though, he is getting accustomed to working with Norman North coach Wade Standley. Standley was instrumental in helping three-star linebacker Jordan Evans land with the Sooners for the 2013 class. Now Standley is all aboard the Cornwell train.
“That was one of the biggest things for me when I found out I was moving was I didn’t know anything about Coach Standley,” Cornwell said. “After talking with him, I know I would really love to play under him. He has helped me so much in getting offers and attention. I really want to play my senior season for him at Norman North.”