Mississippi State cornerback Jiles to miss early portion of season
For the second year in a row, the Mississippi State Bulldogs will have to compensate for a shake-up at the cornerback position.
Cedric Jiles, a backup corner who played in 11 games and made three starts as a redshirt freshman a year ago, suffered a hamstring injury in the Bulldogs’ scrimmage on “The Farm” on Saturday and will miss what head coach Dan Mullen called “a significant amount of time” early in the coming season.
Jiles was expected to maintain his role as a reserve cornerback and member of MSU’s kick and punt coverage teams this season after registering 20 tackles in 2013. He and Will Redmond were listed as the primary backups to starting corners Taveze Calhoun and Jamerson Love on MSU’s first depth chart this summer, and were expected to be difference-makers early in the season while the Bulldogs search for a replacement for former ball-hawking safety Nickoe Whitley.
No specific timetable has been set for Jiles’ return to action.
The Bulldogs are not unfamiliar with having to find new talent to plug in at cornerback. Heading into last season, MSU had to find replacements for both its former starting corners after 2012 starters Darius Slay and Jonathan Banks were both taken in the second round of the ensuing NFL Draft. Mississippi State inserted current starters Taveze Calhoun and Jamerson Love into the lineup at the beginning of last season, and the rest is history.
So who might be Jiles’ replacement come Week 1 if he is still not able to play?
Sophomore corner Tolando Cleveland is expected to move up into the Bulldogs’ two-deep depth chart in Jiles’ absence. Cleveland showed promise as a true freshman last season, recording nine tackles, one pass breakup, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.