5 Reasons Why 4-Star DE Jashon Cornell Could Sign with Michigan State
Jashon Cornell is an elite 4-star defensive end who can also play defensive tackle. From Minnesota, Cornell is a defensive lineman who can redirect well and surge to ball-carriers quickly in short areas.
The 6'4", 260-pounder has above-average strength to set the edge versus running plays, plus he can walk offensive tackles back into the pocket with power as a pass-rusher. With so much talent, Cornell has attracted the attention of schools from all over the country.
Among his top schools is Michigan State, according to 247Sports. The Spartans have a great shot to sign Cornell for several reasons.
Michigan State's Strong Defensive Reputation
Michigan State isn't a flashy program that plays an exciting brand of football. However, the Spartans win a lot of games by being tough, physical and feisty.
Head coach Mark Dantonio is a defensive-minded leader, which is why MSU hangs its hat on that side of the ball. Dantonio's defense surrendered a stingy 13.2 points per game in 2013, according to CFBStats.com. The unit has also been No. 1 in total defense and rushing defense for the past three seasons in conference play.
As a defensive prospect, the chance to join a program known to excel on your side of the ball is enticing. That applies to Cornell with Michigan State.
While Dantonio keeps tabs on his defense, assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is the straw that stirs the drink.
Narduzzi has been at Michigan State since 2006, and he is generally viewed as one of the top defensive coordinators in the country.
In 2013, he won the Frank Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the country, coordinating a defense that led the Big Ten in nine different categories.
Six teams that played the Spartans last season failed to score even a touchdown. With a defensive coordinator like Narduzzi in place, Cornell would be coached well and put in a position to succeed.
Chance to Play Early
Cornell would not only be the headliner of Michigan State's class, he would be a prime candidate to receive immediate playing time. The 4-star recruit appears physically ready to contribute right away, and he could do just that in East Lansing.
It's also worth noting Cornell would join a young and talented defensive front that includes 2014 signees such as 5-star defensive lineman Malik McDowell, 4-star defensive tackle Craig Evans and 3-star defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr.
Chance to Stay in the Midwest
Hailing from Minnesota, Cornell stars at powerhouse Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul. He's a Midwestern guy, so staying in the region is something that likely appeals to him at the highest level.
Michigan State offers Cornell that chance, as he wouldn't have a tough time fitting in the environment around East Lansing.
Recruiting is all about connections, and there appears to be a significant one for Cornell at Michigan State.
The Spartans shrewdly hired Curtis Blackwell in August 2013 to be their director of college advancement and performance/camp director. He's also a key figure in formulating recruiting strategies for head coach Mark Dantonio.
Blackwell coached on the high school level in Detroit before arriving in East Lansing, but he also was co-director for nine years of the Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy.
It's not a coincidence at all that Cornell attended the Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy earlier this month, as his attendance was verified by Josh Helmholdt of Rivals.com (subscription required).
Cornell also told the following to Helmholdt (subscription required) on June 7:
"I have a relationship with coach (Curtis) Blackwell and coach (Brad) Salem up at Michigan State..."