Jashon Cornell Happy to be Imposing His Free Will on Offenses Once Again

Jashon Cornell Ohio State Buckeyes Defensive Tackle

Jashon Cornell is one of Ohio State’s 14 fifth-year scholarship seniors. He has played in 32 games in his career, starting just once. Those starts, however, are on the verge of increasing as Cornell gets closer and closer to being named the starter at three technique defensive tackle.

Cornell came to Ohio State all those years ago as a blue-chip defensive end, but redshirted and grew into a defensive tackle. As a redshirt freshman, however, he only played in five games and dealt with injuries for most of the year.

It wasn’t until 2017 that he began to see regular playing time on the Ohio State defense.

As the backup to Dre’Mont Jones at the three technique defensive tackle spot, there weren’t many snaps to be had, but defensive line coach Larry Johnson still found some reps for him.

One year later, the Buckeyes sent Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard, and Jalyn Holmes to the NFL and they needed help at defensive end. Johnson called upon Cornell to move back to his old defensive end position to fill out the rotation, which he did.

With the defensive end depth chart replenished this year, however, Cornell was back at defensive tackle in the spring. He left the spring with the ones and has been there throughout fall camp as well.

Clearly, the position suits him.

“It feels good to be back at three tech. I feel like that’s my position,” Cornell said. “I can hold it down at the three tech. I feel like with my pass rush ability and run stopping ability, I feel like I am a three technique.”

Being back at his preferred tackle spot, Cornell has responded. Add in the fact that this is his last season with the Buckeyes, and it’s clear to Larry Johnson that Cornell is focused on the season ahead.

“I think so,” Johnson said. “I mean he’s been around, he knows the system now, and now this is the last shot. He’s got a chance to be the three technique and I think he sees the goal now and what can be possible. He’s got all the tools. He’s everything you thought he would be, so now it’s about doing it on the field.”

Of course, it’s one thing to simply win the job, but it’s another to perform at the level the Buckeyes need. Replacing Dre’Mont Jones is going to be difficult, but Johnson sees similarities between the two players.

“Yes, he can run, he’s a 4.65 guy in the 40-yard dash, so he’s got the speed,” he said. “He does a really good job in the running game. Now it’s just become a transitional pass rusher. That means you’ve gotta learn how to counter moves and that’s what we’re working on. If he gets that, he’s got a chance to have a good season.”

This is all music to Cornell’s ears, however. Rushing the passer from the interior is much different than doing it from defensive end. Being back on the inside gives him more options, which he believes allows him to impose his (free) will against opposing offensive linemen.

“I feel like I have free will, you know? If you’re a defensive end, you’re an edge rusher. If you are a three tech, you’re an edge rusher, you’re an inside rusher, you’re a bull rusher,” Cornell explained. “You can you have so many opportunities to do so many different techniques that it helps me out I feel like.”

A starting job has been a long time coming for Cornell, who still needs to finish strong in order to be named the starter.

After basically watching his first two years, and then being a reserve at two different positions the last two seasons, Cornell believes he is back where he belongs.

It hasn’t exactly been an ideal career to this point, but Cornell is thankful for where he is now and how he got here.

“I believe everything happens for a reason,” he said. “God put me in this place, put me in a situation right now for me to be successful. I feel if I haven’t — I’ve been moving around here and there, it’s because I haven’t been doing what I was supposed to be doing. Last year was a need for me to be at defensive end. And now the need is for me to be at three technique and I’m enjoying being at three technique.”

One Response

  1. I remember when he came in, and I remember how much it sucked when he was battling injury. Jashon is very talented, and he’s a pupil of The Mentor , so you know he’s a high quality character guy. It is going to be a pleasure watching him tearing it up for his last dance. He’s going to have a great season………..I can feel it in my bones.

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