April 26, 2011

Fast-rising cornerback getting major interest

Cedric Jiles has no proverbial chip on his shoulder as it pertains to the timing of scholarship offer.

Instead, the Clinton, Miss., cornerback is counting the "blessings" of his present offers and hoping more are forthcoming.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Jiles begins spring practice later this week. Coaches from Louisiana Tech, Northwestern and Southern Mississippi have already been by his school since the start of the spring evaluation period. The in-state Golden Eagles and Mississippi State have extended scholarship offers.

Dan Mullen's Bulldogs have clearly made a very strong early impression.

"It's cool," Jiles said of Mississippi State. "I'm liking their program so far right now. I don't have a leader. I'm just sitting back and enjoying the process. (Mississippi State assistants) Coach (Greg) Knox and Coach Melvin Smith are talking about putting me at cornerback and some at safety. I just want to play. I just love football. I just want to get on the field."

Jiles doesn't have an offer from the Bulldogs' SEC arch-rival, Ole Miss, but he's interested in the Rebels.

"I haven't gotten a chance to talk to them much," Jiles said. "I visited them week before last for their spring game. I got a chance to see their (defensive backs). They looked like they need some help."

If Ole Miss _ or anyone else, for that matter _ eventually offers, the timing of that extension won't be a detriment in a hypothetical recruiting battle against Mississippi State or Southern Mississippi.

"I just see it as a blessing to get offers," Jiles said. "I'm not really worried about that. Maybe they're taking their time and evaluating me."

In the meantime, Jiles said he's more focused on improving his skill set entering his senior season.

"I just want to improve everything," Jiles said, adding he's been invited to attend camps at Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Louisiana Tech and Northwestern. "You can never be too perfect. I want to get better at every area of my game."

Jiles took the ACT for the first time earlier this month. He sports a 2.9 core grade-point average.

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