Sunday, March 3, 2013
Watch List QB has UGA in top four
By Radi Nabulsi
ATHENS, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List quarterback David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) has so far narrowed down his list of 11 offers to a top four. He has offers from all but one of four finalists. On Saturday, he visited that school to take in the start of spring practice.
“I visited Georgia today,” Cornwell said. “I flew down here sick as a dog but I had to see these guys. It was one of the big ones left on my list. Once I got there I saw what they call, 'The Georgia Way.’ It was really special to be here. Coach [Mark] Richt was really nice. Coach [Mike] Bobo spent a ton of time with us. I am blessed to have them on my list and I’ll keep them on there and see where it goes.”
While the 6-foot-5, 215-pound pocket passer did not pick up a Georgia offer on his visit, he might get one later in the recruiting cycle.
“An offer from Georgia would big one,” Cornwell said. “I have a four team list and I have all the offers except for Georgia right now. They have to see me throw in spring ball first. I haven’t put my list out yet but I am making my decision in June. I will be an early enrollee so I will be making a decision earlier. I want to be able to recruit guys and that will give me more time to do it.”
So what brought an Oklahoma native to Athens on a blustery day in early March?
“It was the coaching staff that first drew me to Georgia,” Cornwell said. “My favorite part was probably meeting the head man. That was the first hour with us before the team meeting. That was the best time -- just meeting with him. Obviously the stadium was breathtaking, the basketball game was fun, and the facilities were great. Coach Bobo was really nice.”
The Bulldogs held their first practice of the spring Saturday, and Cornwell watched as the quarterbacks went through their drills. The weather was cold and snow flakes were whipping around in the air. Richt endeared himself to the junior quarterback with some good-natured teasing.
“Everyone made fun of me,” Cornwell said. “I was standing next to Coach Richt most of practice and he would go over and say, ‘This guy is from Oklahoma. He brought this snow here.’ I said to him, ‘Coach Richt, you keep telling people that and I am not going to have any friends here before I leave.’ It was awesome, though. He is one of my favorite coaches.”
That list of coaches includes Nick Saban at Alabama.
“I have been to Alabama three times,” Cornwell said. “Alabama has been big for me ever since I went to the Mississippi State game there -- two top-10 teams going at it. I was a little starstruck at first, having the No. 1 team in the nation kind of putting the press on. It was really special; seeing the band, seeing the Tide nation and then being able to sit down and talk football with Nick Saban and Coach [Doug] Nussmeier. They both know their stuff and I wouldn’t go there just because they are a big name -- they truly have some of the best coaches in the nation. That is who you want to work with.”
Cornwell would like the chance to work with Bobo as well.
"Georgia is the same way -- a top program with an amazing coaching staff,” Cornwell said. “Look at all the guys that have rolled through there, like Matt Stafford. Bobo knows his stuff. I watched him coach today and it was amazing.”
Cornwell plans to visit Alabama again as well as Tennessee and Virginia Tech. After he is evaluated by Alabama and Georgia again in the spring and summer, he will look at his offers and make a decision. There won’t be a lot of drama in his recruitment after that.
“The whole picking the hat thing is just a nightmare for these coaches -- to have all that hype and to make a decision based on the flashing lights and not the meat,” Cornwell said. “As soon as I commit I am done. I’ll obviously talk to these coaches because we have relationships but I’ll be locked down and will not flip-flop or anything.”