3 things to know about Timmy Jernigan, the Noles' monster in the middle

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn has some talented defensive linemen to contend with on Monday night, including Jernigan.

1. He is a powerful, intense man.

Timmy Jernigan didn't have the chance to be a regular starter at Florida State during his first two seasons, but even so, his talents were obvious. He was just stuck behind other immensely talented players, which is the sort of luxury programs like Florida State tend to have.

In 2013, he's thrived as a regular, with his combination of quickness, power, and intensity allowing him to have a major impact in a variety of situations. That intensity is sometimes misplaced, as this amusing story from Telvin Smith about a play in practice illustrates:

"He came off the line, and I don't even know if he was trying to or not, but he just threw his arm out and clothes-lined the guy," Smith said. "And (the back) fell flat. Like it wasn't even a knockdown where he stumbled or nothing like that. It was a legit clothesline ... flat line, with Timmy looking over him.

"And I was like, ‘Timmy, stop! Get off of him. Move!'"

But it's also what helps make him a difference-maker. He has the ability to dust offensive linemen with quickness:


Or simply toss them out of the way with his brute strength:


(GIFs via Tomahawk Nation)

He finished the 2013 regular season with 54 tackles, including 10.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks. He leads the Seminoles in TFLs and ranks second in sacks. Those numbers helped him earn several All-American honors.

2. He was a dominant player in high school, too.

Given his pedigree, it wasn't surprising that Jernigan was able to be an impact player as a true freshman, earning some freshman All-American nods even though he was a reserve. Jernigan was a consensus five-star player in the 2011 class, widely regarded as one of the best two or three defensive tackles in the country.

As a high school senior, he had 77 tackles, 32 of those for loss, including 14 sacks. He even played a little offense, which had to be slightly terrifying, and ran for four scores.

3. A high selection in the 2014 NFL Draft could be in his future.

Jernigan may have played his final home game at Florida State, but that hasn't been determined just yet. He has another year of eligibility remaining, and could return to Tallahassee in an effort to solidify himself into a certain first-round pick. He's been sidestepping draft questions ahead of the BCS title game, and he's still waiting on his draft evaluation.

But he could already be a first-rounder, and he would likely grade out as an early-round pick, at the very least. In the most recent rankings from SB Nation's draft experts, Jernigan was No. 78 overall and No. 9 among defensive tackles.

More from SB Nation college football:

How FSU and Auburn were built: Why recruiting matters so much

Goodbye to the BCS (which dies tonight)

College football news | Strong to Texas: 10 possible Louisville candidates

Long CFB reads | The death of a college football player

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