USC Trojans: Jashon Cornell

Getting to know Jashon Cornell 

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
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video 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.


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Early Offer: It’s a wrap 

February, 6, 2014
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Alabama’s 2014 class is special, but is it the best class ever? Who were my biggest winners Wednesday, and what can we look forward to with the class of 2015?

Special class for Bama


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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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Five-star athlete Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) is given the freedom to do many things at the high school level. He lines up at various positions on the field, including punter, as Serra sends defensive coordinators scrambling for solutions.

The versatility fits Jackson perfectly. He welcomes every duty, even if that means he gets minimal rest.

So when asked what type of coach he would like USC to bring in next, Jackson’s answer was not surprising.

“I want a coaching staff there like the one I have here at Serra,” Jackson said. “I have a great relationship with the coaches here. At USC, I would want someone that is genuine with his team and thinks of us as his sons. He would also have to have the mindset to win, of course.”

Jackson thinks highly of assistant coach Tee Martin and would exclusively play receiver for the Trojans, even with their pressing need for cornerbacks. Yet USC might have some ground to make up and perhaps a disadvantage in regards to visits. Jackson has made two official visits -- to Oklahoma on Oct. 4 and LSU on Oct. 11 -- and will likely use two of his other trips on Florida State and Oregon. He does not anticipate a visit to USC, since it is close to home.

And though Jackson is not close to a decision, the No. 2-rated cornerback has gained clarity in recent weeks.

“My visit to LSU turned the tables,” Jackson said. “LSU being a dominant school and 'DBU,' it definitely caught my attention when I got down there. It was great. The fans showed me love, the team showed me love and even the coaches showed me love. I feel like I can go there and do some damage.”

Houston has no problem


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Several recruits in Los Angeles took to Twitter on Wednesday to criticize Lane Kiffin, sparking a heated debate with Trojan fans; how Florida losing a four-star offensive line commitment is a good thing, and Oklahoma sends out offers to two of the nation’s top juniors.

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.
The defensive and offensive lines are major priorities for USC in this final recruiting cycle involving NCAA-mandated scholarship limitations, so it’s no surprise all five of the Trojans’ verbal commitments in the 2014 class are trenchmen.

Among those, three are defensive linemen, headlined by ESPN 300 nose tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central). The other two – defensive end Austin Maloata (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and juco tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) -- might be considered sleepers, but their inclusion is vital to the program’s future outlook after signing only Kenny Bigelow, Nico Falah and Khaliel Rodgers last February.


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Notre Dame recruits the state of California heavily, so naturally the Irish go head to head with on-the-field rival USC several times a year on the recruiting front, as well, for prospects from the Golden State.

It is not too often the programs are competing for the same prospect out of Minnesota, but that was the case Tuesday.


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