Gators putting full-court press on DT Jernigan

By Adam Silverstein
January 19, 2011

Currently 15 members strong, the Florida Gators 2011 recruiting class is being looked down on because of the commitments that have been lost rather than lauded for those players new head coach Will Muschamp has retained.

While three four-star commitments have departed for what they believe are greener pastures since Muschamp jumped on board, the nation’s top quarterback and a number of other integral players remain dedicated to the Orange and Blue.

Muschamp hopes his group of committed prospects grows significantly in the coming weeks, and it appears he has honed in on four-star defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (Lake City, FL) as his prime target with National Signing Day approaching on Feb 2.

Assistant defensive line coach Bryant Young visited Jernigan in his home during his first day on the job last Friday, and the Gators are doing whatever they can to get him to take one of his final two official visits to Gainesville, FL.

Craig Howard, Jernigan’s head coach at Columbia High School, said Florida is one of three schools vying for the chance to host the player on a visit. Though he will not narrow down his options, reports have Jernigan considering those three schools along with LSU; UF is coming on strong and doing the best they can to get in his ear as of late.

“I would say that Florida is semi back in it,” Howard told ESPN’s Jamie Newberg on Monday. “Coach Muschamp and those guys have done a good job with him.”

The Gators will send Muschamp, Young and defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Dan Quinn to Lake City on Thursday to meet with Jernigan, who is set to announce his commitment live on ESPN at 10 a.m. on National Signing Day, according to Howard.

Jernigan, listed at No. 17 on the ESPNU 150 and No. 29 on the Rivals 100, is the No. 2 defensive tackle in the 2011 recruiting cycle according to both scouting services. He would be the only player at his position committed to Florida for 2011, though UF did sign prominent five-star DTs Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley in 2010.

Photo Credit: Unknown


  1. npgator says:

    He would be playing a lot at UF next year. That is a position that requires depth and other than our guys from last year we have Hunter who will be a junior and Howard a senior. We really need Jernigan!

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    Glad to see they are out there busting it. On a side note, anyone still wish Will Hill came back for his last season?


  3. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Man I hope Muschamp, Young, and Quinn can persuade Jernigan to come here. He would be such a big pick-up for us.

  4. I just enabled “threaded” comments. Like or dislike?

  5. ulysses1221 says:

    This would be a great pick up for the gators. They have to be telling him that he will have the opportunity to start next year, and that has caught his attention. The other schools that he is considering are loaded at his position and the pro style defense has to be very tempting. Come on down jernigan.

  6. g8ter27 says:

    I hope we get him like everyone else but I would be shocked if he started next year considering the talent that is still in front of him. Sounds like we need to start looking at some O-lineman to me as well. I am alos curious about Jacoby being recruited so hard considering that we have Driskel here now and others coming back..even if a couple do move to another position. I am sure he is good but how do we convince him that he will be our next qb?

  7. Daniel M. says:


  8. Gatorgrad79 says:

    I agree with g8ter27 and have been saying for many weeks that we need some BEEF and BAD attitude on both lines, although the O-line is certainly important in a pro-style pocket pass O scheme. I am very concerned at what we (don’t) have coming in in this area…

  9. Gio Showtime says:


  10. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    This guy would be a great get…would love to see him and Floyd together…what’s the word on Powell is he going to move to DE?

    • Better phrasing might be “move back to DE,” which I think he will. But truthfully nobody knows anything at this point until spring practice…or maybe even summer practice.

      • Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

        I was thinking if he is moving back than he would be working now to put on the extra weight

  11. liveoak87 says:

    Live about 30 mins away from this kid. He is a beast and the gator nation would love to have him.

  12. Jesse C says:

    Adam – What’s the story with Story? Do you think he’ll be a gator on NSD?

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