The long and winding eligibility saga for Norman (Ok.) North quarterback David Cornwell finally came to an end on Friday afternoon, the 6'5, 230-pound passer revealed via Twitter:
Excited to announce I have been declared eligible for my senior year at Norman North. Thanks to everyone for the love and support. Pumped!— DC5 (@DavidCornwell5) June 7, 2013
A consensus four-star prospect rated as the top pro-style passer in the country by 247Sports, Cornwell's appeal was heard on Tuesday, but no decision handed down for several days. At issue was the fact that he missed the fall semester in 2011 when he was in Florida because his mother was suffering from what the family called in a release "an unexpected, debilitating illness that could have taken her life."
As such, it seemed as if there wouldn't be much deliberation from OSSAA that governs Oklahoma high school football, but that was not the case. Cornwell didn't add anything to his above statement on Twitter, so it's not clear at this time what made the organization relent in their plans to keep Cornwell off the field this fall, but it happened.
Last week, the executive director of the OSSAA, Ed Sheakley, didn't exactly sound sympathetic to the family's plight in an interview with ESPN:
He's asking for an exception for an additional year. They made a choice to leave school (in 2011). They also made a choice not to play football that year. That's kind of where we're at from our point of view.
It was a point of view that clearly changed in the time since then, at least according to the board's ruling, and Cornwell, Norman North, and all the colleges recruiting him benefit from the decision. Not to mention college football fans around the country who did feel sympathy towards his situation and wanted to see him showing off his prodigious talent on the field this fall.