If you see the tummy, you know its too late.
From 2011 to 2013 the cropped number eight jersey of Timmy Jernigan was at the forefront of opposing offense’s minds as he controlled the line of scrimmage and leaked into the backfields of FSU’s opponents.
The 5-star talent out of Lake City, FL made an instant impact along FSU’s defensive line, playing in 13 games as a true freshman. Jernigan’s 30 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 6 tackles for a loss that year were good enough to earn him First-Team Freshman All-American honors from the Football Writers Association.
Jernigan’s role would increase in 2012 and the sophomore would help the Seminoles to the ACC Championship game, where he put up his best performance of the season.
Many will remember James Wilder Jr.’s two touchdowns and Karlos Williams’ game sealing interception against the Yellow Jackets, but Jernigan was disruptive throughout the night. Recording FSU’s only sack and finishing the evening with 9 total tackles (1.5 for a loss) and an ACC Championship.
Like many of the players on this list, 2013 was a career year for Jernigan. There wasn’t an offensive line he met that could handle him for 60 minutes. Racking up 63 tackles, 11 for a loss, and 4.5 sacks, Jernigan was named a first-team All-American by ESPN and a second-team All-American by the AP and USA Today, among others.
After getting his National Championship, Jernigan opted to forgo his senior year in favor of the NFL Draft.
He was taken in the second round by the Baltimore Ravens and would go on to be named to the All-Rookie team next to some guy named Aaron Donald.
Jernigan would play three years in Baltimore, becoming an important piece of the Raven’s defense. Despite this, Jernigan was traded to the Eagles in 2017, which turned out pretty well for the defensive tackle, as he won a Super Bowl his first year with the birds.