David Cornwell looks to be more than just Alabama’s second quarterback signed in its 2014 recruiting class. He’s brought much enthusiasm to practice this week, and is pushing Jake Coker for the starting job. Cornwell’s mechanics as a passer have improved, and his footwork in the pocket is fluent. Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin had Cornwell throwing to Raheem Falkins, ArDarius Stewart, Kenyan Drake and Parker Barrineau in Friday’s practice.
Cornwell, an Oklahoma native, was one of the top pro-style quarterbacks nationally. The rising sophomore was an Elite 11 finalist and a consensus four-star prospect. ESPN 300 ranked him as its No.4 pocket passer. He was an early enrollee, arriving at Alabama in January of 2014. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Cornwell was a household name at Norman North. He showcased a talented arm, accounting for 2,742 passing yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior in 2012. He rushed for 755 yards and six touchdowns. A knee injury would halt half of his senior year.
Cornwell has all the tools to be Alabama’s starting quarterback in 2015, especially if Coker doesn’t put a strangle hold on the position. He’s spacing his feet well in the pocket, and is comfortable with checking the ball down.
Now healthy, Cornwell has been able to maneuver on his knee, generating stability and acceleration in his footwork. Competition breeds winners. It will be a five-man race into the summer, but don’t be surprised if Cornwell emerges as the starter.