Cedric Jiles‘ 2014 season was over before it even began.
The Mississippi State cornerback saw his sophomore year come to an abrupt end with a torn hamstring during the team’s final scrimmage before the season opener.
“About 10 days before the first game we were scrimmaging in the stadium and I was doing pretty well,” Jiles said. “One play I just stretched out too far and I guess it popped. I didn’t hear it pop. I thought I’d be okay but the doctor told me it would be about a three month process and I probably wouldn’t be able to play this year. It was devastating at first but it made me hungrier to come back next year.”
To make matters worse, Jiles was relegated to the sideline during one of the Bulldogs most successful seasons ever including a five week stint at No. 1 and an appearance in the Orange Bowl.
“It’s really tough,” Jiles said. “It’s really bad on game day when you want to be out there with your guys but you can’t. It’s a bad feeling. I’ve got a fire burning inside me and I’ve got to get on the field.”
It is not the first time Jiles has dealt with injury during his collegiate career. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder had his true freshman season limited to just three games in 2012 due to hand and foot injuries.
The Clinton native is using his past experiences to persevere past his latest injury.
“It’s nothing new,” Jiles said. “I know how to overcome things. I feel like I’m a strong individual.”
Jiles went on to appear in 11 games during a redshirt freshman campaign in 2013 including three starts. He has 25 career tackles and a pass deflection to his credit.
Jiles is hoping to be healed in time to participate in spring practice next month.
“My recovery is going great,” Jiles said. “I’m looking at being at 100 percent by spring time. I’ll have to see where I’m at when spring practice starts (on March 18) but I believe I’ll be ready though.”
Jiles was slated to be in the cornerback rotation this past fall but with the loss of Jamerson Love due to graduation, there is even more of an opportunity for him to secure a starting spot this spring.
“I feel like everything is mine for the taking,” Jiles said. “I’m just ready to get back on the field.”