Last week, Lake City Columbia defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan made news when he presented his updated list of favorite schools.
When Jernigan told Rivals.com his top four schools, the one school everyone expected in there was missing — Florida.
Growing up a Gator fan and being one of the fan bases’ most popular prospects, Jernigan shocked many when he put Michigan, Florida State, LSU and Alabama ahead of Florida. Jernigan described Florida as a school “kind of hanging in there.”
Thursday, Jernigan maintained that Florida is still a school outside of his favorite list, but hasn’t completely taken the Gators off his radar.
“Could things change? Of course, yes, it can change,” Jernigan told reporters following Columbia’s 25-11 loss to Jacksonville Ed White. “I still have three months and I still keep in contact with some of the coaches down there. It’s not like I blew them completely away, but I have my favorite four.”
Jernigan was originally expected to announce on or around National Signing Day in February, but after Columbia dropped to 5-4 and out of the playoff race,Jernigan said his commitment should come a lot earlier.
While he’ll be happy to get the recruiting process out of the way, he’s upset that his senior season will be coming to an end soon.
“It hurts that the season will be over in two weeks,” he said.
Jernigan said he put off recruiting for the most part during the season because he placed so much focus on his team, but has figured out one thing that his top four schools have in common. Jernigan is sold on the immediate playing opportunities they all hold.
Jernigan visited Michigan on Oct. 15, and will visit Southern Cal this weekend.
Whenever Jernigan makes his decision, he says it will be final and doesn’t plan to drag out his recruitment.
“A commitment is a commitment, and once I make it I’m through with it,” he said.
Scout.com rates Jernigan as a five-star prospect and the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle.