With little left to accomplish after winning the 2014 BCS National Championship, the Florida State Seminoles' Timmy Jernigan has decided to make the jump to the NFL next season.
ESPN national college football reporter Joe Schad announced the junior defensive lineman’s decision to forego his senior season via Twitter:
FSU DL Timmy Jernigan said he will enter the next NFL Draft— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 9, 2014
It will certainly be a huge loss for the Seminoles, as Jernigan was a key factor on defense all year.
In 14 games, the Lake City, Fla., native recorded 63 tackles (11 for loss) and 4.5 sacks. That includes tallying a combined total of 19 tackles in Florida State’s final two games.
He especially came up big against the Auburn Tigers in the BCS title tilt, leading the team with nine tackles (0.5 for loss) while being a disruptive force in the trenches for the majority of the night.
According to Jernigan, he is more than ready to take on the next challenge in his career:
"Some team will get an athletic, hard-working lineman who attacks, plays smart and doesn't come off the field," Timmy Jernigan said.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 9, 2014
"I feel I am the most versatile defensive lineman in the draft," Timmy Jernigan said.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 9, 2014
Jernigan is not too far off on that assessment.
As Schad notes, the 6’2”, 298-pounder is described as disruptive, violent and relentless by ESPN’s Scouts, Inc. He is also considered to be a first-round selection and is rated as the No. 7 overall player in the draft.
But mainly, Jernigan is expected to provide a boost to whichever defense is lucky enough to land him.
Backed by his play, the Seminoles defense thrived last season. The unit finished No. 1 in scoring defense (12.1 PPG), No. 3 in total defense (281.4 YPG), No. 1 against the pass (156.6 YPG) and No. 18 against the run (124.8 YPG).
Jernigan is a near lock to be a star on Sundays.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of CFBstats.com.