Cedrick, I'm calling to find out if Mississippi State is recruiting you.
"Yeah, the (MSU) coach came down at the end of the spring."
Aren't you friends with current Mississippi State cornerback Korey Banks?
"I grew up with Korey Banks and played against him in high school."
Are you as shy as Korey is (laugh)?
"(Laugh) Korey is a little bit louder than me. I'm the type person who is pretty much laid back, but when people go to running their mouth, I'm going to run my mouth back. Other than that, I just let my playing do the talking for me. Some people push the button every now and then (laugh)."
I haven't been able to get in touch with your coach, so I don't really know what your actual size and forty speed is.
"I am 5-11, 175 and I ran the forty in 4.22. I ran it twice. The slowest I ran it was a 4.27."
Were you that fast in high school?
"In high school I ran a 4.3 flat. I guess as I got older, I got faster."
What high school did you go to?
"Olympic Heights High School in Boca Raton, Florida."
What colleges recruited you out of high school?
"Miami, West Virginia, KU, Florida, South Florida, Florida State, Tulane, Alabama, Virginia Tech...pretty much everybody."
Did you sign with any four-year college coming out of high school?
"No, I got hurt my senior year. I broke my leg and I was in the hospital during my test date. I took the test one time and I didn't get to take it my next test date. That is why I ended up having to go to Juco."
What position did you play in high school?
"I played wide receiver."
When did you become a cornerback?
"Last year was my first year to play corner. I was going to play wide receiver at Garden, but we only had one corner so they moved me over. They have stuck with me ever since. I think what helped me at DB was that I played receiver. It kind of gives me an edge because I pretty much know how they line up and how to get a feel for them. I try to watch as much film as I can."
Were you a little nervous at first?
"At first, the first game of the season, it was like don't throw the ball my way, don't throw the ball my way. By the third or fourth game I was wishing someone would throw the ball my way. I play with a lot of confidence. I pretty much think I can't be beat even though I have been beaten. I pretty much played against the best receiver for each team. All of those guys were sophomores and they signed with the likes of K-State, Purdue...they were ranked in the top 100 and didn't do anything against me."
Obviously, you must have done pretty good. Did you like playing corner?
"I never wanted to play anything else but receiver, then they made me play DB and I grew to love it. I think they are going to use me both ways this year, but I'm starting at corner. If they need me on offense, they will move me back over to help out. I am also going to return punts."
What kind of stats did you have?
"I had 7 interceptions and led the team. I ran back one for a touchdown. I led the secondary in tackles."
Did anybody score against you during the season?
"I gave up one touchdown the entire year. That was the second game of the season."
Did you not play cornerback at all during high school?
"Cover three but that was pretty much it. I played receiver all the time and only went on the field to back up. I didn't have any picks in high school."
How did you wind up at cornerback at Garden City?
"When I first got to Garden, Coach Bean said, 'Cedrick, if you want to play in the NFL...you are a great receiver but there are a lot of 5-10, 5-11 wide receivers. There are a lot of those guys around, but there are not a lot of good corners around. If you want to go to the League you have to play defensive back.' When I first got out there, I wasn't paying them too much mind because I was doing good at receiver. So they kind of left me alone for a couple of weeks. Then, after I ran the forty yard dash, my coach said I have to play defensive back. I was still not listening to them at all. By the second or third week of practice, they moved me over to defensive back. By the third or fourth day, I had picked it up pretty quick. I went to summer school and I picked it up. I came back in August and pretty much had picked it up. It is a blessing I think."
Did you earn any honors at the end of your freshman season?
"I earned freshman of the year and made (first-team) all-conference. I was rated the top corner in the Jayhawk Conference."
Your teammate, Cory Reddick, is he a pretty good cornerback?
"He is just as good, just a little shorter than I am. He is from Boynton Beach, Florida. He and Korey (Banks) went to school together."
What schools called you during the month of May?
"Miami, the University of Florida, Oklahoma State, K-State, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Michigan State....the top 35 schools. Pretty much everybody."
Have you received any offers?
"Yeah, Mississippi State, K-State, Alabama, South Carolina, Michigan State....Florida, if they sign one corner out of the Jayhawk Conference and I have a good year, they will offer....I've got offers from pretty much everybody I have talked to."
How in the world will you be able to make a decision? You have just about every top team in the country ready to sign you?
"That is the hardest part. They are all pretty good....from Michigan State to Purdue to Iowa in the Big Ten, to K-State in the Big 12 to Kentucky, UF, Mississippi State, Auburn in the SEC."
Are they all recruiting you for corner?
"Corner, yeah. They don't even know I play receiver."
Have you decided what schools you are most interested in?
"Mississippi State because of Korey (Banks) and because they want me and Cory Reddick to play together...Miami, the University of Georgia, probably K-State and probably Michigan State."
I noticed several of those schools are more apt to sign junior college players than most schools. Does that have anything to do with your decision?
"No, pretty much because they are closer to home. My mom doesn't like to fly and doesn't want to fly. I want some of my family to see me play. Being at Garden City, they haven't been to one of my games. I want to be close to home, but if I can't, I want to be able to come in and start. I want what is best for me. If I can go there and get to the next level that is good, if not, that is ok to."
Then the depth chart will be a factor for you?
"Yeah, K-State will lose all their corners after this year. Mississippi State will lose Korey and the other corner (Demetric Wright) and Miami lost my first cousin and Buchanan and all those other guys are gone but they signed five new freshmen corners. But a freshman in college is different from a sophomore in junior college."
I almost forgot to ask you this question, are you going to be a December or May graduate?
"I will be a December graduate. I've already got 69 credits right now. I could have left early and made the jump to the next level last year but my main reason for staying at Garden City was because I had only played corner for one year. Making the jump from junior college to the next level (D-I) would have been a big jump for me. I just wanted to take my time and make sure I'm prepared for the next level."
You've got a good head on your shoulders and really seemed to have planned everything out.
I could keep talking because I have really enjoyed talking to you, but I've kept you long enough, Cedrick. I look forward to talking to you during the season.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at email@example.com.