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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Cornwell gets personal with Tide on visit

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- After visiting Tennessee on Saturday, ESPN Watch List quarterback David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman) continued his tour of the SEC with a stop at the University of Alabama on Monday.

Cornwell last visited Tuscaloosa in January for the Crimson Tide’s first junior day.

“It was great,” he said. “It wasn’t your typical junior day. It was just more of a personal day to get to know the coaches, which is really what I needed, to get to know those guys.

“It’s the second and third visits that are really important in my eyes just because of the fact they know you like it. You’re back. It’s less of a sell and more of a personal, ‘Hey I’m getting to know you.’ In the end, it’s about relationships.

“Coach [Nick] Saban, I had a nice long talk with him. I had a nice long talk with Nuss (Doug Nussmeier). I got to go over some film and really just watching practice, there’s no hiding stuff. Just seeing those kids throw, that’s priceless for your decision.”

Alabama’s second spring practice was moved indoors because of poor weather, but it didn’t slow things down. Cornwell looked on with his father, and they were impressed with the the overall efficiency of the workout.

“I’ve been to a lot of spring practices, a lot of college practices, and I’ve never seen one run this much like an NFL [practice],” Cornwell said. "The talent level, the coaching level, the energy, the organization, everything was run at an NFL level. That was amazing to see.”

The highlight of Cornwell’s visit wasn’t practice or talking with the coaches. It was when he met Tide quarterback AJ McCarron. The Oklahoma native even tweeted a photo of he and McCarron together after practice.

“That was probably the most special part of the trip,” Cornwell said. “AJ can give you an opinion. He was a high-profile quarterback back in the day coming out of high school. Starting with him, that was really important. To know now where he’s transformed in the last four years, it wouldn’t be a bad place to be.”

So what was McCarron’s advice?

“Don’t just choose a school based on the offensive coordinator or a place where you think you can play,” Cornwell said. “There’s competition above and coming in behind you. For him, he kept his head down and kept working through the ranks, and it worked out for him.”

After the visit, Cornwell admitted that he was no closer to a decision. He was planning to visit Auburn on Tuesday before leaving town.

The Watch List quarterback said he would likely know where he wants to go by the end of spring practice, after he takes all of his visits. However, even if he makes that decision, he won’t publicly announce it until June.