St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall defensive end Jashon Cornell is set to make his college decision Wednesday between Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State.
Cornell checks in as the country's No. 3 weakside defensive end, the state of Minnesota's top recruit and the No. 37 overall player in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
He was originally planning to make his college decision on Aug. 28, but recently decided to move up his timetable because he feels ready to announce his decision.
"I felt like I was ready for it. I've been a lot of places and seen everything I need to know," Cornell said. "I just feel like it was time for me to make a decision."
Cornell will be deciding between Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State. He shared his thoughts on each of his finalists with SB Nation:
Iowa: "One of my mentors, who taught me everything he knows about the game, is a coach at Iowa. That was a big thing for me because he's like family and I know I have family down there to help coach me up and I can talk to him whenever I have questions; it's a really nice thing."
Michigan State: "I have another mentor up there [Coach Blackwell]. He's one of my mentors and I talk to him about recruiting. I know I have another coach up there who I can trust for anything. When they say something, I can confirm it with him and he gives me his word. They're a defensive factory. They win games with their defense and they send defensive linemen to the NFL."
Notre Dame: "I love Notre Dame. Just the pipeline we have down there and the tradition our school has sending players there. There's a great tradition of kids from my school going to Notre Dame and being successful, and making their careers long and successful and learning how to work in the business world. Notre Dame has a great school overall."
Ohio State: "They have Larry Johnson and Urban Meyer, who are two of the best coaches in the game right now. Larry Johnson sent seven first-round draft picks to the NFL and multiple second-round draft picks to the NFL. My auntie lives 30 minutes from Columbus/Ohio State. Urban Meyer is just a great coach overall. The tradition at Ohio State is awesome."
Penn State: "Coach Spencer and Coach Franklin. I call Coach Spencer 'Chaos.' It's basically an SEC staff in the Big Ten, which is crazy. That team is going to be great in the next two or three years. If I go there, I can be part of something new and return the great tradition of Penn State."
He's announcing on the same day and time (Wednesday, July 2 at 10 a.m. ET) as five-star Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard. The two elite recruits share a strong bond and there's a good chance they announce for the same school.
"I have a great relationship with Justin. I met him at the beginning of my sophomore year on a visit to Iowa and we've always talked about playing together with each other," Cornell stated. "I think if we both go to the same school, we'll have the Terrell Suggs/Ray Lewis-type combo on defense. We'd just destroy things up. I think we might be going to the same school."
When he's committed, he plans to start recruiting for his school, starting at Nike's "The Opening" early this month.
"Of course, of course. I'm going to recruit," Cornell admitted. "I'll be doing that every day."
Despite announcing on Wednesday, he still plans to take a couple of post-decision visits.
"My mom wants me to take two visits out of respect," he said. "I'll probably visit Penn State and Michigan State."
Cornell is pretty sure sure where he'll be committing, but isn't 100 percent sure.
"Right now, I'm 90 percent sure where I'm going," he said. "The big factors will be my relationships with the coaching staff and the academics. In my family, academics come first, and you can't play football if you're not getting it done on the academic side. If I go to the NFL, and that doesn't last very long, I know I'll have that fallback on the college education and my diploma."