Does a nice job dropping his pad level and anchoring in the hole. However, doesn't do a good enough job extending his arms and shedding on contact. Works hard to fight his way off blocks when asked to take opposing linemen at the second level. However, can be jolted initially on contact and makes most of his plays five yards-plus down the field.
Possesses some natural balance and body control in coverage, but looks a bit stiff when asked to get into and out of his breaks. Lacks ideal instincts in zone coverage and doesn't seem to key off the quarterback well, even when his eyes are in the backfield. Lacks much wiggle or lateral athleticism as a blitzer, gets too upright into contact and doesn't have a real niche when asked to rush the passer.
Impression: Does a decent job reading his run keys, taking on lead guys and tackling in all areas of the field. However, he isn't real rangy or fluid in space and isn't physical enough on contact in the run game to overcome his limitations in the NFL."
2009: Started all 13 games at Mike linebacker ... Ranked third on the team in tackles with 79 (41 solo) ... Also collected 8.0 TFLs, three QB pressures and two pass break-ups ... Turned in five games with seven or more stops ... Helped hold the opposition under 300 yards of total offense seven times this year, including five SEC games ... Earned third letter ... at Memphis (9/6): Recorded two stops, both assisted ... vs. Southeastern La. (9/19): Collected four total tackles (two solo) ... at South Carolina (9/24): Posted six tackles (three solo) ... at Vanderbilt (10/3): Credited with eight tackles (three solo) ... Also broke up one pass ... vs. Alabama (10/10): Posted seven tackles (five solo) and 0.5 QB sack ... vs. UAB (10/17): Recorded four tackles (one solo) ... vs. Arkansas (10/24): Posted three solo tackles and tied a career high with 2.0 TFLs ... at Auburn (10/31): Collected nine tackles (two solo) and two quarterback pressures ... vs. Northern Arizona (11/7): Tallied seven stops (five solo) and 1.5 TFLs ... vs. Tennessee (11/14): Posted a team and career-high 11 stops (five solo) and 1.0 TFL ... vs. LSU (11/21): Tallied four tackles (one solo) ... at Mississippi State (11/28): Recorded nine tackles (seven solo), 2.0 TFLs and a forced fumble ... Cotton Bowl vs. Oklahoma State (1/2): Recorded five tackles (four solo) including 1.0 TFL.
2008: Saw action in all 13 games and started 11 at Mike linebacker ... Totaled 45 tackles, with 5.5 TFLs and 3.0 sacks ... Earned second letter ... vs. Memphis (8/30): Credited with four solo stops and a career-best 2.0 TFLs ... at Wake Forest (9/6): Posted four tackles, 1.5 TFLs and first career QB sack in start ... vs. Samford (9/13): Credited with three tackles (two solo) in start ... vs. Vanderbilt (9/20): Started and recorded five tackles (three solo) ... at Florida (9/27): Posted three tackles (two solo) ... vs. South Carolina (10/4): Posted two tackles, both assisted ... at Alabama (10/18): Finished with six stops (three solo) ... at Arkansas (10/25): Posted five tackles (four solo) ... vs. Auburn (11/1): Started and recorded two assisted tackles ... vs. ULM (11/15): Started and posted five stops (three solo) ... at LSU (11/22): Started and recorded one assisted tackle ... vs. Mississippi State (11/28): Recorded two total tackles, including 1.0 QB sack ... Cotton Bowl vs. Texas Tech (1/2): Totaled three solo tackles with 1.0 TFL ... Spring: Assisted on a tackle in the Grove Bowl.
2007: Saw action and started at Will linebacker in first two games ... Received an additional year of eligibility after missing the final 10 games with injury ... at Memphis (9/1): Posted a season-high eight total tackles, including four solos ... vs. Missouri (9/8): Notched one solo stop before leaving with injury.
2006: Appeared in seven games, making one start at weakside linebacker at LSU (11/18) ... Finished the season with six total tackles ... Earned his first letter ... vs. Georgia (9/30): Saw first action as a Rebel and recorded one stop ... vs. Vanderbilt (10/7): Made one stop on special teams ... at Arkansas (10/21): Saw action at LB ... Made one solo stop ... vs. Northwestern State (11/4): Collected one solo tackle ... vs. Mississippi State (11/25): Notched a season-high two solo stops.
HIGH SCHOOL: PrepStar All-America selection ... Named to Tom Lemming's Prep All-West Team and also to SuperPrep All-Far West Team ... Second team All-State by CalHi Sports as a senior ... Voted league Defensive Most Valuable Player by coaches as a junior ... All-league selection for CIF Division I as a junior ... Rated No.12 inside linebacker in nation by ESPN.com, No. 17 LB in nation by CollegeFootballNews.com, No. 25 LB in nation by Scout.com and No. 14 outside linebacker in nation by Rivals.com ... Was selected as the No. 32 overall player in California by Rivals.com, No. 55 player in the West by Scout.com and No. 133 player in nation by CollegeFootballNews.com ... Rated No. 32 player in West region by Tom Lemming and No.32 in Far West region by SuperPrep ... Recorded 105 tackles, 12 QB sacks and 21 TFLs as a senior... Added 12 rushing TDs; 132 tackles and 2 QB sacks as a junior ... Earned three letters in football, playing linebacker, tight end and running back ... Coached in high school by Mike Difiori ...
PERSONAL: Son of Juan Cornell and Vallery Thomas ... Full name is Jonathan Xavier Cornell ... Born: December 31, 1987 ... Majoring in English
Strengths: Good recognition skills and instincts. Good lateral quickness to make tackles in a confined area. Fights through the trash well. Keeps his feet well and has good balance in taking on blocks and making tackles. Consistently sheds blocks and drives ball carriers backward when he makes contact. Effective as a blitzer.
Weaknesses: Not the most athletic linebacker. Range to make plays is confined within the tackle box. Doesn't posses the fluidity to drop effectively into zone coverage or change directions in keeping up in man coverage. Size and strength are a concern at the next level.
Projection: Seventh rounder or UDFA. Cornell will get the opportunity to compete for a backup linebacker spot."