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The top 100 FSU football players: No. 79—linebacker Lawrence Timmons

Timmons leaves a legacy of leadership and excellence.

Clemson Tigers v Florida State Seminoles Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Lawrence Timmons was a former four-star prospect out of Florence, South Carolina. In high school Timmons was a two-way player on the football team and also ran track. His senior season he had over 150 tackles and 800 receiving yards while finishing sixth in the state long jump finals. He ran a 4.6 40-yard dash.

As a true freshman at Florida State in 2004 Timmons largely played a backup and special teams role, but he appeared in all twelve games. As a sophomore he backed up Ernie Sims, but still managed 35 tackles and was fourth on the team in sacks with three. He also blocked two kicks that year; against Miami in the season opener in a game FSU won 10-7 breaking a six-game win streak for Miami, and against Clemson in November which resulted in a touchdown. In the ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech Timmons had his breakout game. He recorded eight tackles, including six solo and two for a loss, with two sacks, two more QB hurries, and a forced fumble. FSU would go on to win 27-22 and face Penn State in the Orange Bowl.

After Ernie Sims left early for the NFL Timmons got his chance. He racked up 79 tackles, including a whopping 18 tackles for loss, with a pick six and six pass breakups. Timmons scored three times during the 2006 season: a scoop n’ score against Duke and ran a Dekoda Watson-blocked punt back for six against UCLA in the Seminoles’ bowl game. That third quarter touchdown sparked a 21-point 4th quarter comeback over the Bruins that clinched former head coach Bobby Bowden’s streak of 30-straight winning seasons. He was named by College & Pro Football Weekly an honorable All-American and made the honorable mention All-ACC team named by the Associated Press.

Timmons also chose to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft early, where he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 15th overall pick of the 2007 draft. His rookie season started much like his first at FSU, backing up James Harrison and playing sparingly as a backup and special teamer. But he made enough of an impression that Pro Football Writers Association named Timmons to their All-Rookie team. In his second season he quickly found his footing, breaking out in Week 7 when he racked up 10 tackles and two sacks. His second season Timmons saw increased action and started three games, culminating in five tackles in the Steeler’s Super Bowl win over the Arizona Cardinals. By the time he entered his third season he had a ring and was firmly entrenched as the starter. In 2010 Timmons had a career year with a team-high 135 tackles on the league’s best run defense, along with nine pass deflections, three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. He was named by Pro Football Focus as the game’s best interior linebacker, and was almost assuredly a Pro Bowl and All-Pro snub. He again played in the Super Bowl that year but lost to the Green Bay Packers.

Timmons finally made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and was also named a second-team All-Pro. He had a stellar ten year career with the Steelers and finished his career in 2017 with the Miami Dolphins. Before joining the Dolphins Timmons had played in 101 straight games. Over the course of his career Timmons recorded 1,065 tackles, 735 solo, with 35.5 sacks, 46 passes defensed, 14 forced fumbles, 12 interceptions, and one touchdown. Perhaps most importantly, Timmons had created a reputation as a respected and well-liked teammate, a model of leadership and consistency.