Elite 11 2013: Alabama Commit David Cornwell Is Best Bet to Win QB Competition

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIJune 28, 2013

The Elite 11 quarterback competition is kicking off this Friday in Beaverton, Oregon, and will feature the best 18 QB prospects for the 2014 recruiting class.

The roster for this year's Elite 11 competition—which will begin on June 28 and continue through July 3—features five prospects from the state of California and two each from Georgia, Texas and Arizona.

However, of the 18 stud signal-callers, Norman, Oklahoma, native and Alabama commit David Cornwell may prove to be the cream of the crop by the end of the competition. 

Cornwell, a 247Sports composite 4-star, was the first of the 18 finalists to earn a "golden ticket"—the coveted invitation to the Elite 11 finals in Beaverton.

In addition to receiving the first invitation, Cornwell is a consensus top-five pro-style quarterback among all recruiting services.

He comes in as the No. 4 pro-style QB in the 247Sports composite ratings, which figures the industry average for all recruits. Additionally, Cornwell is ranked as the No. 1 pro-style signal-caller by 247Sports, No. 2 by ESPN, No. 3 by Rivals and No. 5 by Scout.com.

At 6'5" and 230 pounds, Cornwell will be both the tallest and heaviest Elite 11 competitor, but despite his size, he may be able to shed the pro-style distinction this weekend.

In his junior season at Norman North, Cornwell ran for nearly 800 yards and six touchdowns, as featured in his Elite 11 profile.

In addition to his size and athleticism, the future Crimson Tide QB also has an elite arm and clean, quick mechanics, which he showed off at the Elite 11 regional camp in Dallas.

His performance at the regional camp impressed many, including former Super Bowl champion and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer.

At Dallas and Norman North, Cornwell showed the ability to escape the pocket and throw on the run with power and accuracy while keeping his eyes downfield.

On a few occasions, his passes were too hot to handle for the receivers at the camp, even though they were right on target.

Simply put, there isn't a throw he can't make.

Perhaps his best attribute is his lightning-quick release, which will be a valuable asset against the aggressive SEC defenses that he'll face at Alabama.

From his solid footwork all the way to his quick motion, it's difficult to find any serious flaw in Cornwell's game.

Since deciding to take those skills to Tuscaloosa in mid-June, Cornwell has already gone to work recruiting for his team.

According to Greg Ostendorf of ESPN (subscription required), Cornwell contacted 5-star composite offensive tackle and Alabama target Cameron Robinson, urging the 6'6", 318-pound lineman to join the Tide.

As Ostendorf reported, the two had met during a camp at Alabama in June, where Robinson was able to watch Cornwell show off his skills during a private session with Tide offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. 

After that private session, Robinson walked away impressed with Cornwell, to say the least:

He looked like Tom Brady or something. He's got a big-time arm. He's a big dude, too. He was real impressive. They recorded the private throwing session he had with Coach Nussmeier. He could make every throw. He's pretty mobile -- I'm not going to say he's RGIII or nothing -- but he's pretty mobile for 6-5, probably knocking on about 250. He probably has the best arm I've seen on a high school quarterback -- good quick release, good zip on the ball, everything.

Though Cornwell has little left to prove during the Elite 11 finals, he will have one final opportunity to show off his talent and competitive drive.

If his accomplishments so far reveal anything, Cornwell will be the king of the competition in Beaverton.


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