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Friday, April 18, 2014
Getting to know Jashon Cornell

By Tom VanHaaren

Throughout this recruiting cycle, RecruitingNation will profile a number of ESPN 300 prospects in the 2015 class, including an inside look at the prospect, his recruitment, a scouting report and what college program could benefit when he ultimately makes his decision.

When you attend a school as prestigious as Cretin-Derham Hall, as No. 16-ranked recruit Jashon Cornell does, you are bound to have connections. The Minnesota school has produced its share of college and NFL players over the years, including associate dean of students Marcus Freeman, who played for Notre Dame.

Jashon Cornell
No. 5-ranked defensive end Jashon Cornell wants to make his commitment by the end of August.
Cornell can rattle off a list of former prospects he knows from his school, but his face lights up when he talks about a relative currently in the NFL.

Terrell Suggs is my second cousin,” Cornell said. “He’s at family functions a lot, and when he comes back to Minnesota he’s at my other cousin’s house because he sponsors their basketball team.”

The Baltimore Ravens defender has told Cornell he sees a lot of himself in the five-star prospect. Cornell has put on close to 30 pounds and now stands at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, very similar to the vitals listed for Suggs.

With offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Michigan State, Florida and everywhere in between, Cornell is well on his way to following in his cousin’s footsteps. Schools will eventually get dropped from his list, though, and Cornell is working on narrowing that down now.

“I might go out to the West Coast to see Stanford, UCLA and USC to get those out of the way in the next two months,” he said. “Then I’ll probably go down to Florida and get the Florida schools.”

He doesn’t have much time left as he recently announced he will be making his commitment on Aug. 28.

Cornell has already taken several visits within the Midwest, so the trips out West and down South should give him more clarity as to which schools will make his final cut.

About his recruitment: Cretin-Derham Hall has sent plenty of prospects to Notre Dame, so it was only natural for predictions to favor the Irish early in his recruitment. Cornell has gotten a chance to see quite a few schools, though, and Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, USC and a few others are in the picture for the defender. Cornell has tried to be thorough in taking in and processing all the information he has received throughout the process. Both he and his mother talk to each other regularly about what stands out, what is important to Cornell and which schools might offer him the most opportunities. When he makes his decision on Aug. 28, it will be a well-researched decision based on his goals on and off the field.

Scouting profile: Cornell possesses some very good physical tools which allow him to be a disruptive presence in the trenches. One of the things that jumps out is the first-step quickness he flashes. He is capable of exploding off the ball and is able to disrupt plays in the backfield with penetration. He can also be dangerous as a pass rusher with the ability to create problems off the edge, as well as slide inside and gain favorable matchups as an interior rusher with his size and initial quickness. He possesses a nice blend of size, strength and athleticism, though he has added some bulk to his frame and has developed into a bit of a 'tweener at this stage. He needs to watch how he adds size moving forward, but he is talented enough to offer some versatility to a D-Line with further physical development and scheme, determining how he best fits in the long run. Cornell might have slipped a few spots from his ESPN 300 ranking -- he was previously the No. 1 recruit -- but in a very talented D-Line class, in our eyes he remains one of the premier prospects. -- Craig Haubert

Handicapping the race: Judging by how his recruitment has gone, it seems likely Cornell will end up staying closer to home. Though he will take visits across the country, the top defender has shown a lot of interest in the Midwest schools. Notre Dame and Michigan have always been in the conversation and will likely be two schools that will be in it until the end. It will be a fierce battle for Cornell, but there is a good chance that either the Fighting Irish or the Wolverines win out in the end.