Jashon Cornell joins Jeff Okudah and Jonah Jackson as former Ohio State teammates selected by the Detroit Lions in the 2020 NFL draft, but Okudah and Jackson won't be the only familiar faces Cornell sees in Detroit.
Cornell, an All-Big Ten defensive lineman this past year, grew up in Minnesota and is close friends with Lions center Frank Ragnow. The two used to car pool around the country to football camps together while in high school.
"Me and Frank, I remember we'd fall asleep on him in the car ride, he'd drive down – we drove down to Detroit for Sound Mind, Sound Body camp together or just different camps around the country," Cornell said. "Me and Frank, we did a lot together growing up throughout our high school years.
"We'd just hop in the car at 4, 5 o'clock in the morning and go skid across country, especially us Minnesota guys. We didn't have that big exposure that most teams had. One thing us Minnesota guys, we wanted to go out there and go compete across the country and that's one thing me and Frank did at a young age because we went out and went to go compete to get our names on the chart."
Cornell will likely see plenty of the veteran Lions center across the football come training camp.
View photos of defensive lineman Jashon Cornell.
Cornell played both defensive end and defensive tackle during his playing career for the Buckeyes at 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds. He started 14 games this past season and played in 46 career games during his college career.
"I think it's shown I'm versatile within the defensive line," Cornell said of playing both inside and outside in college. "You had to play at Ohio State at a high level each year. Being able to play defensive tackle and defensive end, I think it really showed my versatility to come in and be a great pass rusher for the team."
Cornell recorded 30 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks in 2019, earning All-Big Ten honors. The Lions value versatility within their players, especially upfront along the defensive line, and Cornell certainly gives them that with his ability to play inside and outside.
He's still somewhat raw in his rushing technique, but he has a pretty high ceiling.