Florida State Seminoles: Jashon Cornell

We’re coming to your city. Permanently, Tallahassee.

A replica “College GameDay” stage in Florida State’s football offices is among a series of planned facilities renovations the university announced last week. Florida State worked with Advent, which has consulted numerous programs about facility renovations, and the upgrades will begin taking shape next month.

[+] EnlargeFSU practice facility
Andrea Adelson/ESPN.com After completing an indoor practice facility in August, it appears like more construction will be coming to FSU.
The idea to build a “College GameDay” set was one that came internally, though, pitched by Mark Robinson, Florida State’s director of football operations.

“It was more we need to show people our historical value of how many times we’ve been on ‘GameDay,’” senior associate athletic director Monk Bonasorte told ESPN.com.

While the ability to take a picture on the “College GameDay” set -- Lee Corso in the background, feathered spear in hand perhaps? -- will provide an unparalleled photo opportunity, it is the new locker room that has recruits buzzing. College football is in the midst of a facilities arms race, and the recruiting benefits are among the chief reasons. Citing a 2012 survey of college football players, Forbes.com reported a program’s facilities ranked fourth among the most important factors to recruits. Within the last few years, Arizona, California, LSU, Texas A&M and Washington have all doled out more than $100 million on facility facelifts.

Florida State spent $15 million to build an indoor practice field this past August, and Bonasorte said while the university is taking advantage of the national championship, the administration and coach Jimbo Fisher were discussing the plans prior to January’s BCS title win. These latest blueprints redesigning the locker room and football offices have hit their intended mark with elite recruits.

The locker room will showcase silhouette statues of all of players whose jerseys Florida State has retired. Also, above each player’s locker will be a list of previous FSU greats who wore the same number, Bonasorte said, although no plans are finalized.

“With our program, we got to be careful, how do you list every person?” Bonasorte said. “We’re working through that, but that’s an idea we came up with.”

One name and number certain to be in the locker room is that of Heisman winner Chris Weinke, whose jersey is retired. Coincidentally, the No. 1 recruit in the 2015 class, Jashon Cornell, wears the same number, and has Florida State among his top schools. Should he sign with the Noles, he would have Weinke’s name next to his on his No. 16 locker. (Although the jersey is retired, the No. 16 is not out of circulation.)

Gauging Cornell’s response to the new locker room design, the Noles might have moved up on his list of favorites.

“I have one word for you: gorgeous,” Cornell said. “I really like the facilities. Maybe 20 percent of my decision [will be based on facilities].”

Stan Wilcox, still in his first year as Florida State athletic director, said in February that FSU needs to monitor what others are doing with facilities to make sure his program is not lagging. Wilcox was hired on Aug. 7, just one day after Florida State cut the ribbon on its indoor practice facility.

“In order to stay in front of the curve, we have to look at our facilities,” Wilcox told ESPN.com last month. “… [W]e have to attract the best athletes we possibly can, and student-athletes these days are savvy consumers.”

Seminoles.com provided a tour of the proposed designs.


Top 2015 targets: ACC 

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
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It might seem premature to look at the 2015 class just hours after signing day’s conclusion, but the reality is college staffs have been working hard toward Feb. 2015 for the past two years.

With signing day in the books, here are five recruits who sit near the top of a number of ACC schools' 2015 boards.

Cornell, No. 1 in 2015 class, narrows list 

November, 20, 2013
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Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin Derham-Hall), the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2015, has narrowed his top list. After much deliberation, Cornell has cut the list of schools in the running down to 15.

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Jashon Cornell is from St. Paul, Minn., and is the No. 1 junior in the country. He plays football, not hockey, too.

Minnesota high school football players don’t often get the same attention as players from Friday Night Light football havens such as California, Florida, and Texas, or even other northern states such as Ohio. Minnesota still boasts some top-level football talent, though, as Cornell is No. 1 in the 2015 ESPN Junior 300, which was released Tuesday.

While colleges know a lot about Cornell -- he has more than 20 offers -- he is not a national name with recruiting fans just yet. That will change soon, especially as he looks to improve upon his sophomore season when he produced 52 tackles, 14 sacks, 26 tackles for loss, forced three fumbles and blocked a field goal.

But until then, here is a little more about the top-ranked Class of 2015 prospect.

School: St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall.
Height: 6-foot-3, 245 pounds.
Position: DE/OLB.
Offers: California, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Stanford, USC, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
Favorite video game: NCAA 14. (Cornell did not give any glimpse into a favorite college team, though. He and friends always randomize which team they must play as, which one time left Cornell as his hometown Minnesota Gophers going up against Alabama.)
Food: “I eat everything. I can’t say on that, but probably steak or some type of barbecue.”
School Subject: “Science. I always knew I can get an A in it. I like history, too.”
Favorite professional sports team: “The Warriors. They just got Andre Iguodala. My favorite NFL team, I’ve always been a Chicago Bears fan.”
Bears 2013 prediction: “I think they should be solid. I don’t think they’ll go to the Super Bowl. They have some building to do, but they’ll be one of the great teams again.”
Cornell’s Super Bowl pick: “I think the 49ers. Maybe the Jets [to represent the AFC] if they get their stuff together.”
Favorite NFL player: “Ray Lewis. He’s retired but one of my favorites because he always worked hard.”
Favorite musician: Jay Z.
Favorite restaurant: Chipotle.
Favorite TV show: Friday Night Lights.
Favorite quality: “I’m a people person.”
Favorite part of his game: Speed.
Least favorite part of his game: Hands.
Biggest inspiration: Mother.
Hobbies: Video games, basketball, golf, Frisbee golf.
While not generally thought of as a recruiting ground for Missouri, the state of Minnesota is not all that far from The Show-Me State, and the Tigers sent out two offers this weekend to prospects from Minnesota.


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