SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Timmy Jernigan feels overwhelmed by getting back to the recruiting process.
The Lake City Columbia defensive tackle feels as if he is starting the entire thing over because of staff changes at schools he is interested in.
Florida’s staff is new. Alabama lost its defensive line coach. There are rumors that LSU coach Les Miles could be headed to Michigan.
Right now, Florida State is the only school not going through staff changes, but Jernigan said he’s never been truly comfortable with everyone in Tallahassee. Besides defensive line coach Odell Haggins, the Seminole coaches who first recruited Jernigan left with former coach Bobby Bowden.
Jernigan said he feels the most comfortable with Haggins, but still is unsure what he thinks about the rest of FSU’s staff.
“The big thing is a matter of trust right now,” Jernigan said. “Who can I trust? Who do I know is going to be there for a while? That’s the biggest thing for me right now.”
Frankly, Jernigan doesn’t know what to think, but after talking to some players before Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Jernigan is ready to make a few decisions about the upcoming weeks.
He’s unsure if he will visit Tennessee this week or Alabama next week, but he’s leaning toward maybe making a trip to Gainesville to see Florida’s new staff.
“I’ve really been thinking about it and it’s possible,” Jernigan said about visiting UF. “Time will tell.”
One reason Jernigan is interested in meeting Florida’s new crew is that with most of the coaches being a part of a new regime, he expects to see those guys to be there longer than just the 2011 season.
“I think that staff will be there for a long time,” he said.
Jernigan said he isn’t sure when he’ll get to Gainesville if he does decide to make the trip.
Jernigan might have had trouble processing the last few weeks of college football, but he was getting plenty of information from his East teammates this week. Florida running back commit Mike Blakely was in his ear about the Gators, while FSU athlete commit James Wilder Jr. was talking up the Seminoles.
“There are a couple of boys that are pulling me this way, pulling me that way,” Jernigan said.
“Everybody understands that we have to do what is best for us and we are all just real good friends now.”
The next few weeks will be chaotic for Jernigan and his family. He’ll make a National Signing Day decision on Feb. 2. Until then, Jernigan plans to do a lot of thinking and a lot of talking with different coaching staffs.
“It’s going to be hectic. it’s going to be very hectic,” he said. “I have to keep my priorities in order and handle my business like that.”