Local prep star works to ‘raise his game’ for collegiate play
Cretin-Derham Hall’s Jashon Cornell garnered national attention from many of the best collegiate football programs in the nation as the 7th best defensive end in the country as well as the 3rd best defensive end in the Midwest, the best in the state of Minnesota, and ranking as the #33 recruit overall in the class of 2015.
He’s committed to Ohio State University. Since graduating from high school this past November, he’s enrolled in Ohio State’s offseason program and has been working with his new coaches to make the transition to playing football at the collegiate level.
Fortunately for Cornell, he has a valuable resource to his advantage. He’s a cherished recruit in one of the best football programs in the country.
“Anytime you’re taken into a program like that, you’re a precious commodity, and so he’s going to get the best treatment in terms of physical training, conditioning, coaching, and they’re going to take care of him academically,” said Mike Scanlan, head varsity football coach at Cretin-Derham Hall.
Even though Cornell has the benefits that come with training in Ohio State’s offseason program as well as their academic support, in addition to participating in the team’s spring practices he has adjustments to make in order to become a good college football player.
“It’s the speed of the game, obviously strength level, and those are the two areas where you have to improve quickly.” Said Larry Johnson, assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Ohio State University, in reference to Cornell.
“And that’s what he’ll face — getting stronger, the speed of the game, and the knowledge of the game. It’s just a different game here.”
Cornell has been working on improving in these mental aspects of the transition and credits the improvements he’s made in the spring to the older players on the team who have been supporting him through the process.
“All the older guys give me the heads up on how you do things and how things [are] supposed to go,” Cornell said. In addition to the mental support Cornell is receiving, he also says his teammates are helping him with the physical details such as technique and body control.
“Jashon was a really outstanding football player in high school, and he has to come with that same mindset to get it done here,” Johnson said, “because here there’s 10 guys like him…and so he’s gotta raise his game to be a good player.”
Scanlan also commented that competing against the other players at the next level will be difficult and perhaps “a challenge for him.” Cornell will be coming into Ohio State with three other defensive ends in his recruiting class along with six returning players in his position group.
However, Cornell feels that he responded to the level of competition “pretty well… At first it was really difficult for me to respond because I didn’t really understand how things were working,” Cornell said. “But as time went on I got better.”
Fortunately for Cornell, none of his coaches have voiced concern regarding his work ethic. When asked if it was something to be concerned about, Scanlan said, “Don’t you think it would have been exposed right now if it was an issue?”
As to Cornell’s future as a football player, Johnson said, “There’s nothing out of [his] control. He controls his destiny.”