Jashon Cornell is one of the most highly sought after prospects in the 2015 recruiting class. Cornell is rated as a five-star recruit by 247 and ESPN, and a four-star recruit by Rivals and Scout. He already has prototypical size at 6'2.5, 265 pounds, and still has time to grow.
The St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall star is rated as the top prospect in the state of Minnesota, and is considered the 16th overall 2015 prospect in the nation by ESPN. He's rated as the fifth-best defensive end by ESPN, and is one of the top 10 according to all four major services.
Cornell has garnered interest from almost every major program across the country. He currently holds offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin, amongst a host of others.
You can find Cornell on Twitter @Jay_Rock16. Here's a taste of what you'll find:
ACT turn up!!!— Jashon Cornell (@Jay_Rock16) February 8, 2014
What makes Cornell such an in-demand prospect? Versatility.
Cornell offers teams a chance to have a defensive end who is very good against both the run and the pass.
The first thing that jumped out at me when I saw Cornell in person was his thickness. He has a very built core, and I can't imagine that he is going to add as much additional college weight as some of the skinnier prospects. He seems closer to the finished product than some others. And while that somewhat limits his upside and potential, it also provides greater certainty as to what sort of prospect he can be.
Cornell is an extremely strong prospect. And the competition he plays is not very impressive. Given that, he is easily able to overwhelm opposing blockers at the point of attack with his strength, tossing them aside.
But strength is not Cornell's only attribute. He also shows solid burst and get-off at times relative to his size, uncoiling out of his stance and playing low. Testing numbers confirm his explosion as he has consistently posted very good vertical leaps relative to his size.
Cornell told me recently that he has been working on improving his hands, and I agree that they need work. He is able to get away with some iffy technique at times in high school because of his strength and the level of his competition, but at the next level he will need to better utilize his strong hands. Cornell does not have the greatest length, so keeping blockers off of him via knocking down or swatting their hands will be important.
He is a bit linear as a player, and his change of direction is not elite for a defensive end. But several of his highlights are on hustle plays, which suggests a strong motor.
I suspect Cornell's best pass rush work in college will come from working a half-man, making opposing tackles fear his bull rush, and then working a rip or a counter to the inside.