At times, it seems like Stephenson High School’s entire starting roster will sign college scholarships this year.
Linebacker Tyrone Cornelius was the latest member of the Jaguars to reveal his college decision, committing to Miami over Georgia Tech. He was also heavily considering South Carolina and Tennessee among 25 offers, according to assistant coach Corey Johnson.
“Tyrone is extremely athletic and fits in with the Miami’s linebacker tradition with being very fast and very physical,” said Johnson, who coaches Stephenson’s linebackers and special teams. “He’s probably the fastest linebacker in the country. He’s runs a legitimate 4.4 in the 40-yard dash … that’s flying.”
How did Miami edge out Georgia Tech? “He has been to Miami twice and really developed a good relationship with the coaches. He felt very comfortable with his decision,” Johnson said. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Cornelius had 117 tackles as a junior.
Stephenson coach Ron Gartrell has said as many as 12 of his seniors could sign with Div. I programs, and at least a half-dozen with smaller colleges. Tailback Raymond Sanders has committed to Kentucky, while safety Kenny Ladler is headed to Vanderbilt. Defensive back Chris Sharpe has Louisville as his leader. Defensive lineman Michael Thornton, perhaps the team’s crown jewel with offers from nearly every top team in the country, is undecided.
Stephenson, the DeKalb County powerhouse, is one of the state’s top producers of college football talent. Former players include Jermaine Cunningham, a preseason All-America defensive end at Florida, and ex-Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball.