ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – If you want a measure of just how much attention Jashon Cornell is garnering in football circles, just ask his mail carrier.

“Like one time,” Cornell recalled, “I got like 300 letters from Missouri in one day.”

A lot of high school football players get recruited. Not many get recruited like Cornell.

“The mail lady talked to my grandma every day,” he said. “Like, I’m so proud of you.”

Cornell says there are three crates of recruiting letters at his house right now. In all, he received scholarship offers from 36 different schools, including the entire Big Ten. He chose Ohio State.

“At first, I loved (the attention),” Cornell said. “I just like loved the recruiting process.”

Now, he’s glad it’s over. So he can focus on his final high school season.

A season when everyone will be focusing on him.

“He’s got that scary combination of size and speed,” Cretin Derham-Hall coach Mike Scanlan said.

The expectations are bigger for Cornell, and the spotlight brighter and the pressure higher, than for any player in Minnesota in years.

“I feel like I’m expected to be better than everybody else on the field,” Cornell said.

He was the No. 1 recruit in the country at this time last year, and is now 18th in ESPN’s rankings. He is, by far, the top prospect in the state.

“People just don’t understand what it’s like to be always in the spotlight,” Scanlan said. “And have people lining up to say, ‘Oh, I told you he wasn’t as good as everybody else said.'”

Cornell will fight that all year, along with the double and triple-teams.

But as expectations go, Cornell says nobody’s are higher than his own.

“The standards I set for myself,” he said, “have to be really high.”

David McCoy

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