FIU | Jake Medlock

FIU Panthers QB Jake Medlock back as starter


The oft-injured quarterback has been deemed fit to start for Golden Panthers on Saturday against Southern Mississippi.

FIU quarterback Jake Medlock on a keeper in the second quarter against UCF Knights at Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.
FIU quarterback Jake Medlock on a keeper in the second quarter against UCF Knights at Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.
Al Diaz / Miami Herald Staff

FIU quarterback Jake Medlock’s most recent concussion didn’t cause him to lose his sense of humor or optimism.

“Two that I know of. I’m fine, I’m good. Back to myself,” he said.

Two? When was the first?

“That was back in high school. I can’t remember. That was a long, long time ago.”

The injury bug bit Medlock in shoulders and a foot in 2011 and 2012 and found his head 2 1/2 weeks ago in the 34-13 loss to Bethune-Cookman.

“I was pretty woozy,” he said. “I just went back to my room, turned off all the lights. I slept and tried to get my headache to go away.”

Medlock sat out the Louisville catastrophe after helping sophomore E.J. Hilliard prepare for what turned out to be a Cardinals stampede. Hilliard’s completions and Louisville’s sacks both numbered four, and FIU only threw the ball nine other times.

Last week, even as Medlock practiced lightly, FIU coach Ron Turner stated plainly if he was healthy, he would start against Southern Mississippi this Saturday:

“Jake is our starter,” Turner said.

Medlock said, “I worked out, ran, watched a lot of film of the Bethune game that I didn’t get to watch [with the team], watched a little bit of Louisville, then watched Southern Miss trying to get ready for this week.”

FIU’s offense ranks 123rd (out of 123) nationally in total offense and scoring, mostly because of offensive line woes, and a rushing attack ranked No. 122nd.

Medlock has completed 30 of 55 passes this year for 303 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

When Medlock first took the field for FIU, in 2011 as a backup then starter later in the season, he ran like an action hero searching for a fight scene.

That lasted through three quarters against Louisiana-Lafayette (trucked a linebacker), a full game against Florida Atlantic (trucked another linebacker) and only two plays against Louisiana-Monroe (linebacker crunch put he and his right shoulder out for the rest of the season).

A more judicious approach to running last season didn’t prevent Medlock from getting injured — he sustained a foot injury while in the pocket — or being battered.

On his first scramble against Bethune-Cookman, however, with FIU down 7-0, he bowled over defensive back Tim Burke after a 12-yard gain. Then, in the fourth quarter with FIU trailing 34-7, while crashing through bodies around the goal line, Medlock got the concussing hit.

“The first time, when I took on the [defensive back], I did it to tell the team, ‘We’ve got to go. We’ve got to get hyped up,’ ” he said. “I was being smart. I wasn’t leading with my head like I’d normally do. I kept my head up.

“Later in the game, I was just trying to score. My helmet got ripped off and I got hit again without the helmet on.”

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