Ready For His Shot

Arlington (TX) Martin cornerback Cedric Fernandes suffered an ACL injury that forced him to miss the entire 2012 season. Now, he's ready to get back to the gridiron.

Arlington (TX) Martin cornerback Cedric Fernandes had waited patiently for his chance to shine in the spotlight prior to the start of the 2012 season. The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder spent his sophomore season for the Warriors in rotation with two of the top defensive backs in the country; twins Eric Amoako and Stephen Amoako, who both signed with Oregon in 2012.

Fernandes was already becoming a player to watch after a 2011 season that saw him record 33 tackles and 1 interception while receiving playing time at both free safety and corner.

However, his junior season was over before it ever started.

Fernandes suffered a heart-breaking season-ending ACL injury just one week before Martin's highly anticipated scrimmage against state-ranked Allen. Just like that, his chance in the spotlight had dimmed.

Now, several months later, the defensive back is still on the road to recovery. He's progressing well in rehab, and with each day, he looks forward to the chance to return to the gridiron this spring when the Warriors begin spring ball on May 1st.

"I was told it was going to be hard, when I first started my rehab it was easy but when I started doing more running and lifting, that's when it started getting hard," Fernandes said. "My physical therapist and training coach have started pushing me more because I'm progressing real fast.

"I'm real excited, I'm ready to get back and play. It's been a year since I've played. It's my senior year too, I need to go out and do what I need to do. I was planning on doing that my junior year, but that unfortunately didn't happen."

With some catching up to do on the recruiting front, Fernandes definitely wants to make an impression on programs close in proximity; TCU, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas to name a few. TCU and Baylor have been by Martin and inquired about him.

Fernandes and a few of his Martin teammates visited TCU a few weeks ago to watch a Frogs' practice. He quickly noticed a familiarity within the practice.

"The first thing I noticed was the tempo, it's a fast tempo and that's what Coach (Bob) Wager teaches us here," Fernandes said. "He teaches us that now so when we get to the next level, we'll be set for it. The coaches were very good with the players too. Coach P is a funny guy, he was making jokes, but he was also getting after the players when he needed to."

Fernandes is on the road to recovery
Martin has become a pipeline for TCU in each of the past two recruiting classes. In 2012, Martin produced Devonte Fields and Jaden Oberkrom, both of whom played as true freshmen last season. Fields went on to be named an All-American. Kyle Hicks signed with TCU after switching his commitment from Texas in December.

Fernandes, like other Martin athletes, is well aware of the pipeline to the school that sits a short drive down the road. While he doesn't know too much about TCU, he knows it's a good program that wins.

"I know that it's a good program, I started paying more attention to them when they won more games," he said. "I don't know too much about them, but they are an up and coming school."

Even as a sophomore, Fernandes became a leader for the Warriors defense. It's that quality that he feels sets him apart from the others. It also doesn't hurt that wherever you find the ball, Fernandes isn't too far away.

"I'm uplifting to my team and I'm always flying to the ball," he said. "That's what my head coach noticed too in my sophomore film, no matter what I was always at the ball on every play."

Having gone through a humbling injury, Fernandes quickly acknowledges that football isn't always going to be around. That's why he's looking for a program that he can help make better, and one that will prepare him for life after football.

"Just for me to get better and do what I need to do to help that team out," he said. "My main goal is to go to a place that prepares for me for life after college."

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