Tyler Johnson (Minneapolis North) and Jashon Cornell (St. Paul Cretin-Derham Hall)—two of the state’s top prep football players during the mid-2010s—were recently drafted into the National Football League, making the Twin Cities faithful proud.
Johnson, a 6’2” 205-pound wide receiver developed from a Division I player known throughout the state to one of the nation’s best during his four-year career with the University of Minnesota. He became pick number 16 in the fifth round of the draft (pick 161 overall) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 6’3” 280-pound defensive end Cornell, who was regarded as the number-one prospect in the class of 2015 by ESPN prior to his junior season, was drafted the number 21 pick in the seventh round (No. 235 overall) by the Detroit Lions after a fine career at one of the nation’s top programs in Ohio State University.
Over the past three seasons, Johnson caught 199 passes for 3,164 yards and 32 touchdowns. As a senior he collected 86 catches, 1,318 yards, and 13 touchdowns, culminating in a 12-reception two-TD performance against Auburn in an Outback Bowl win.
In leading the Buckeyes to the Big 10 championship, Cornell had 30 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss with four sacks, a quarterback hurry, and one forced fumble—all while playing in one the country’s top defenses and starting all 14 games in 2019.
Johnson graduated with a degree in business and marketing education. Cornell has two degrees, earning one in family resource management in 2018 and another in hospitality management in 2019.
Not sure if there has ever been a time when a player from Minneapolis and a player from St. Paul were drafted the same day.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.