Northfield’s Cole Jirik postponed his NFL aspirations after shoulder surgery last Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
It’s the second time Jirik has had shoulder surgery. The first time came four months ago when he went into to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Because of the recent surgery Jirik decided to take a year to rehab and take another crack at the NFL next year. He’s expected to fully recover by August following the surgery.
Jirik injured his left shoulder in the second game of the season last year and then his right shoulder in the fourth game of the season. Still, he decided to play through the pain to help North Dakota State University secure a third Football Championship Subdivision title.
Jirik’s draft eligibility is over with the conclusion of this year’s draft but he’ll enter free agency and can sign with any team that expresses interest. He did receive a contract offer from the Kansas City Chiefs following the draft but couldn’t sign because of his injury. The Chiefs wanted him as an outside linebacker for their 3-4 zone defense, Jirik said. Jirik attracted the attention of other teams earlier in the process of preparing for the draft, he said.
“They’ll keep an eye on me through my recovery,” Jirik said.
The Bison went 52-7 while Jirik played with the team and he accounted for 171 tackles and 26 sacks at defensive end.
Jirik graduated from NDSU in the fall with a degree in sports management and a minor in business. With school done Jirik can focus on getting healthy and working out to prepare for next year’s draft.
“I think I’ll be able to get into the best shape of my life,” Jirik said. “I’ll be healthy for the first time in my life.”
In the meantime Jirik plans to help coach the defensive line with Carleton College.
Nick Gerhardt is the Northfield News’ sports editor. You can reach him at 645-1111. Follow him on Twitter @NorthfieldNick.