Friday, June 14, 2013
Does Cornwell signal two QBs in 2014?
By Greg Ostendorf
Two SEC powers reeled in quarterback commitments Friday -- David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) to Alabama and Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford) to Georgia.
The outcome was expected, but the timing was a little peculiar, to say the least.
Around 4:15 p.m. CT, news broke that Park had committed to Georgia. Within a half hour, Cornwell tweeted that he had committed to Alabama. Did Alabama miss on Park and have to settle for Cornwell, the nation’s No. 1 pocket passer? Not quite.
It's true that Park put on a show for the Alabama coaching staff at the Crimson Tide's camp last week. Multiple sources who were on hand confirmed it. It's possible he even vaulted himself to No. 1 on their board. However, there was one hold up. The South Carolina native wanted to be the lone quarterback taken in the class, and Alabama couldn't promise that.
Head coach Nick Saban said he at least wants the option of taking two signal callers again in 2014, according to Park's father, Adam Park. On the other hand, Georgia told Park he'd be the only quarterback in the class if he chose the Bulldogs.
So what does it all mean?
For one, Alabama still got one of its top targets in Cornwell. He's 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, and the ESPN scouting report says he "not only possesses exactly what you want physically in terms of stature and tools, but he is a much better athlete than you might think."
After the camp, there's no telling which quarterback was higher on the Tide's board. They're at or close to the same level. But with Cornwell, Alabama now has the option to take another quarterback in this class. It's a position a team can't afford to miss on, and Saban knows that.
He took three quarterbacks in last year's class, two signees and one walk-on, but that doesn't mean he's unwilling to take two more in this class. AJ McCarron's replacement has yet to emerge, and the more candidates on campus, the better the competition will be to find the right guy.
If the Tide do decide to take another quarterback, the staff likely will set its sights on Tyler Harris (Blackshear, Ga./Pierce County) or Malik Rosier (Mobile, Ala./Faith Academy), an in-state prospect who impressed at camp.
Ultimately, it wasn't that Alabama missed on Park and had to settle for Cornwell. It was more that Cornwell fit the the Tide's plans and what they wanted to do with this class.