Cornelius, who ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the Miami Scout.com combine this year, said he had been talking with cousin and Iowa senior RB Damian Sims about the school for a while.
"He just was telling me about it, how it's a good school and everything like that," Cornelius said. "His dad was telling me that they treat them good up there. They make them feel right at home. I might as well decide.
"I wanted to stay closer to home at first, but I just decided that I should make a change if I wanted to play. I didn't want to go to a school that had 6 or 7 running backs on the depth chart."
With Damian Sims and Albert Young both leaving this year, that leaves a void to fill in the backfield depth chart.
" They told me that since Damian and Albert Young are leaving, there aren't any seniors coming up," he said. "They need us to come in and help out."
Cornelius battled an ankle injury through most of last season, playing sparingly in most of his team's games, but toward the end of the year, it began to heal, and it showed on the field.
"I tried to play every game," he said. "Once I got in and ran the ball, someone would hit my ankle, it would hurt so bad I had to sit out the rest of the game.
"When it started to heal a bit, toward the end of the season, I was doing real well. My last game, I had 11 carries for 153 yards on that bad ankle. I started to get better."