Cornell fills in well for injured teammates

Bill Rabinowitz
brabinow@dispatch.com

Jashon Cornell believed he had finally found a positional home for 2019.

Throughout his college career, the defensive lineman had gone back and forth from end to tackle. This year, Cornell has been strictly a tackle, the three-technique tackle to be specific.

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He hadn’t practiced at end since before last season’s Rose Bowl. That changed when Jonathon Cooper got injured late in training camp. And when the status of backups Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday became iffy, line coach Larry Johnson asked Cornell to switch back to end for the opener against Florida Atlantic.

“I found out I was going to play end on Sunday, so I had the week to prepare,” Cornell said.

He did just fine. He had four tackles, the biggest one a strip sack of the quarterback during Ohio State’s early onslaught.

Asked if it was Cornell’s best game as a Buckeye, Johnson replied, “I think it was. He did some things that really show his ability.

“You saw him run down a jet sweep. That’s tough to do. Then you saw his pass-rush ability. I think he’s at a really good moment. He had a great camp so I’m not surprised — a fifth-year player finally gets it. We’re looking for great things from him.”

This week against Cincinnati, it looks as though Cornell will return to tackle. It’s not known whether Cooper or the other injured defensive ends will be available. Ohio State will release its injury report Friday.

Cornell said he didn’t hesitate to move to end when asked.

“You can't be selfish,” the St. Paul, Minnesota, native said. “We're a family around here. Once a guy goes down and you need help, I'm here for you. I didn’t think about myself. I thought about the team.”

He knows what it’s like to be injured. He had a sports hernia as a sophomore and later fought a sprained ankle. A blue-chip prospect, Cornell had to learn patience.

Cornell has already graduated with a degree in family resource management. Knowing he’s in his final year of eligibility has added to his urgency.

“It's my last go-round,” Cornell said. “I have no choice but to be great this year.”

Though he gladly sacrificed for the team last week, Cornell is excited about returning to tackle, which he believes is his best position.

He added 15 pounds in the offseason in preparation and now weighs 285. Cornell said he actually likes taking on the double-teams of interior offensive linemen.

“I find it more fun,” he said.

Fuller recognized

Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller was nominated Wednesday for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded to college football’s top scholar-athlete by the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame.

The winner receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.

Fuller has a 3.6 GPA as a business marketing major and is active in community service. He is a senior captain and is one of only 14 Buckeyes ever to be a two-time captain.

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch

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