Jashon Cornell’s final season with the Ohio State Buckeyes was pretty special, as he played a key role in leading the program to yet another Big Ten title. Now, he’ll try to have show that his skillset translates to the next level.
Cornell is one of the most versatile defensive linemen available in the 2020 NFL Draft due to his ability to be an interior pass-rusher or defensive end on the outside. This past season, he totaled 3o tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.
It’s possible to lose sight of Cornell because of all the talent that was on the Buckeyes’ defense in 2019. However, the coaching staff often thought of him as the unsung hero since he was willing to play multiple positions.
We sat down with Cornell to chat about his final season at Ohio State, what’s the major difference between Ryan Day and Urban Meyer, and how he’s preparing for the NFL Draft. Let’s get this interview started.
The Spun: Earlier this week there was a video of you running up hill going viral. What are you doing to stay in shape during this time?
Jashon Cornell: I’m doing everything possible. I have a little rack in my basement, so I do all my lifting there. I definitely have enough weights to get me by. As for what I’m doing outside, I’m doing a lot of running at the park and just trying to keep myself in shape.
Since the NFL can’t go see the Draft Players train, let’s take some Draft Players to the NFL. I’m going to post some of my Draft Players workouts focusing on the ones with no Pro Day. Here’s Buckeye DT @JayRock_9 running hills last week at 293 pounds. pic.twitter.com/EjgUPa5QRA
— Mike McCartney (@MikeMcCartney7) April 6, 2020
The Spun: You’ve played inside and outside on the defensive line. Which do you prefer?
JC: Definitely a three-technique. I see myself as a defensive tackle at the next level.
The Spun: How would you describe your final season with Ohio State?
JC: I think my final season was my best season there. I showcased a lot of things that most people didn’t even know I had. I showed my pass-rush skills and ability to stop the run. It was a really great year.
The Spun: What’s the biggest difference between Urban Meyer and Ryan Day?
JC: That’s a hard one to say because when Coach Meyer left, we still had the same system from when he was there, and then Coach Day transformed it. I think the team came together more with Coach Day. A lot of people started to grow up when he became our head coach. I wouldn’t say people were immature when we had Coach Meyer, but a lot of people really stepped up to the plate when Coach Day took over. This past year, we had way more leaders in the locker room. It really allowed us to play at such a high level last season.
The Spun: When you guys face Michigan, is there a sense of “We got this” going into the game?
JC: We train for the Michigan game for 364 days. That’s the one game as a Buckeye that you know you have no other choice but to win. At our building, we’re not allowed to wear blue or even say that word (Michigan). We prepare for that game throughout the whole year. Regardless of the situation going into that game, we know we need to beat them. It’s a way of life at Ohio State. If you don’t beat that team up north, then your season was unsuccessful.
The Spun: When did you first learn that Justin Fields is a special quarterback?
JC: We realized that during spring ball. Our defense was pretty tight, and he was able to throw bombs at practice and make difficult throws. So, we just knew Justin Fields was going to be special. It didn’t take very long for him to showcase what he can do running and throwing.
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 2, 2019
The Spun: Who do you think will be that next star on the Ohio State defense?
JC: That next star on the defensive line might be Tyreke Smith, Haskell Garrett or Zach Harrison. I also think linebackers like Baron Browning and Pete Werner are going to showcase what Ohio State defense is all about, especially if they’re able to stop the run.
The Spun: What area of your game are you working vigorously on lately?
JC: One thing I’m doing well is building my endurance. That’s why I’m running up hills. I’ve also watched film on myself and noticed different things I could’ve done in the past, like shedding blocks or using a different move. That’s one thing I’ve been doing to maximize my game is being able to do the little things right because if you don’t, the bigger things are going to fall apart.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Jashon Cornell?
JC: I think an NFL team is getting a great interior pass-rusher. You don’t find many interior defensive linemen that played defensive end and are able to transition that speed to the inside. I think I’d be able to show my quickness and put a lot of pressure on quarterbacks at the next level.
— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) December 8, 2019
Ohio State fans will find out where Cornell and other former stars will get drafted later this month.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.