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Alabama Football Film Room: David Cornwell

David Cornwell is right in the mix for the starting quarterback job for the second year in a row. Can the lone, "traditional" pocket-passer of the group make a move and be Alabama's youngest full-time starter at QB since AJ McCarron in 2011?

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David Cornwell was a 4 star recruit from the Class of 2014. He was the #79 overall player, the #4 pro-style QB, and the #1 player in Oklahoma. He played his first two years of high school in Omaha, Nebraska before moving to Oklahoma due to his mom’s battle with illness. He actually didn’t play for a semester as he was helping take care of her (she recovered). He played for a total of three high schools before enrolling at Alabama in 2014. Seriously, take the time to read about his journey to Tuscaloosa.

He redshirted his freshman year, and he was right in the thick of the competition last year before fading in the fall. He’s nominally the #2 quarterback right now, playing with the first team offense behind Cooper Bateman at A-Day.

(The preview image for the A-Day clips is Blake Barnett. I promise the clips are of Cornwell, though)

2nd and 18: Cornwell was sacked on his first play, though it was through no fault of his own (bad blocking by Jonah Williams). He’s in the shotgun and immediately looks right to the short out route Hale Hentges is running. Marlon Humphrey sees this and ignores ArDarius Stewart. Cornwell puts the ball on the money; but Hentges isn’t going anywhere, getting hit right after he catches ball for just a 2 yard gain.

3rd and 16: Cornwell takes the snap and looks right while dropping back. At the end of his drop, he turns back left and hits Bo Scarbrough on a little screen pass that ends up going nowhere. This drive was basically over before it started for Cornwell, and he worked with what he had. He had good placement on the two short passes at least.

1st and 10: The Crimson offense has Stewart to the left with Howard in-line. Stewart goes deep while Howard runs a hitch. Cornwell has a little time and is able to throw it to a wide open Stewart, who was five yards away from Ronnie Harrison. Not sure if it was a poor job by Harrison or a busted assignment elsewhere, but Stewart should be able to waltz in for a touchdown. Cornwell can’t fully step into his pass because Tim Williams is there, and it’s too short for Stewart to come back for it. Scarbrough started moving before the snap anyway, so it’s a five yard penalty.

1st and 10: Cornwell does a decent job of selling the play fake to Scarbrough before looking to his downfield routes. Those are covered so he looks to his checkdown, O.J. Howard who’s just flaring out to the sideline. Howard is open after LB Joshua McMillon got sucked in on the playaction. Unfortunately, RG Josh Casher got beat by Dalvin Tomlinson; and Cornwell has to hurry a throw while dropping back. He doesn’t get enough force behind it, and it one-hops to Howard.

3rd and 9: Stewart is wide left with DB Levi Wallace on him. Cornwell takes the snap and looks Stewart’s way. He’s got good protection and can wait for the route to develop. Stewart runs a post and corner, which apparently fools Wallace; and Stewart is open between Wallace and Ronnie Harrison, who was back deep. Cornwell heaves his pass without stepping into it or following through, and it sails way over Stewart’s head. 4th down.

1st and 10: The Crimson offense has Stewart wide right and Calvin Ridley in the slot to the right. Cornwell takes his five step drop, steps up, and fires a pass deep to the double-covered Ridley. The pass is off to the sideline, though, far away from Ridley (and the two defenders).

3rd and 9: This looks like the first down play, though in a different formation. From best I can tell (coverage cut in after the snap), Ridley and Howard were to the right. The corner ends up on Howard while Eddie Jackson gets stuck in man on Ridley. Cornwell identifies this match-up advantage and has enough time and room to hit Ridley on the bomb. Nice job this time.

1st and goal: Cornwell correctly reads man coverage across the board and knows he’ll have Stewart one-on-one with Minkah Fitzpatrick. He’s too high on the fade route, and Stewart never has a chance.

3rd and goal: A Bo Scarbrough run moved the Crimson team up to the 4 yard line. Cornwell again has Stewart isolated on Fitzpatrick to the left. Stewart cuts inside, getting tangled with Fitzpatrick before he cuts back outside. It’s enough to get separation from Fitzpatrick, but Cornwell’s pass sails high and away.