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Friday, June 14, 2013
Luginbill: Cornwell unique QB for Bama

By Tom Luginbill

The rich got richer Friday as Alabama landed David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./North), the ESPN 150's No. 1 pocket-passing quarterback prospect. He has a chance to elevate the Alabama Crimson Tide's quarterback play, and here's how:

What he brings: Cornwell is the most physically gifted player at the position to pick Alabama since Nick Saban took the job in 2007. He not only brings the arm talent to make all the college level throws, but also offers most undervalued portion of his game -- deceptive athleticism.

How he fits: He brings the ability to extend plays with his legs in a way that the Tide's current roster doesn't possess. Whomever the quarterback is going to be at Alabama after A.J. McCarron's departure is going to be young and inexperienced, but with Cornwell they are upgrading in talent. We would expect the race to come down to Cornwell and Cooper Bateman, who just signed with Alabama in the Class of 2013.

Reminds us of: Physically, a Ben Roethlisberger type. We are not saying he is Roethlisberger, but very few prospects have his physical measurables and his athleticism to boot.

History at position: Obviously, Alabama has had tremendous success with players who have proven to be serviceable, like Greg McElroy and Brodie Croyle. In our opinion, McCarron has outgrown that label. At Alabama, the quarterback is going to be asked to not lose the game, but Cornwell brings a dynamic that the Tide have not had before.

Prediction for performance: Being that Alabama's QBs will all be very young and inexperienced, it won't be talent that stops Cornwell. The focus will be on how well he takes care of the football. He is more physically gifted than what they have, but there is more to the position than physical tools. When he graduates from high school he will be older but maybe not as experienced as most quarterbacks, having only started two years.

How the class is shaping up: Alabama is off to a typically impressive start to 2014 with a top-10 class. They still have some work to do along the offensive line and at linebacker, but the Tide are addressing their needs in the secondary, and have headline-grabbing commits in Cornwell and local athlete Bo Scarbrough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge).