NEW YORK – Three members of Florida State’s national championship defense were selected on day two of the NFL Draft Friday night.
Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the 41st pick in the second round, while defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan was picked at No. 48 overall by the Baltimore Ravens.
Safety Terrence Brooks was selected in the third round by the Ravens at pick No. 79.
All three players captured all-conference and All-America distinction as leaders of Florida State’s defense during the Seminoles’ undefeated (14-0) season in 2013. The Seminoles led the nation in scoring defense (12.1 ppg) and ranked third in total defense (281.4 ypg).
Joyner put off the NFL for one more year in 2013 and came back to lead Florida State to the BCS National Championship, becoming the first Seminole defensive back to be named a consensus First-Team All-American since 2000 and was also one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award.
“I'm very excited for Lamarcus,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He's one of the great Seminoles of all time and one of my favorite players of all time. He was an unbelievable team leader for us. He's a very versatile player that's going to have a great career in the NFL.”
Joyner, who started at safety in 2011 and 2012, was a playmaking disruptive force at nickel back during his senior season, totaling 69 tackles, 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. No defensive back had more sacks than the 5-8, 190-pound star. Joyner’s most impressive performance came at then-No. 3 Clemson where he recorded eight solo tackles, one sack, an interception and forced two fumbles, including one on the Tigers’ first offensive play from scrimmage that quieted the “Death Valley” crowd and set the tone for FSU’s 51-14 victory. The Fort Lauderdale, native played in 55 games with 41 starts and totaled 197 tackles and eight interceptions during his four-year career.
Joyner is the 36th Seminole defensive back selected in the NFL Draft dating back to 1950 and the first player selected by the St. Louis Rams since Jerome Carter in 2005 (fourth round). He joins former Seminole cornerback and teammate Greg Reid (2009-11) on the Rams’ roster.
Jernigan is the first Seminole defensive tackle to be selected in the first two rounds since Brodrick Bunkley was selected 14th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006.
“I was telling myself that all I need is a chance, and then that phone rang,” Jernigan said. “I’m going to give the Baltimore Ravens everything I have with my mind, body and soul. They’re getting a dominant, elusive player. A guy that is going to contribute to the team, give everything that he has.
“I’m glad the Baltimore Ravens drafted me, to be able to play on a great defense. The Ravens definitely play with a swagger. They play football the way I play football. I feel like I’m the perfect match. I’m definitely going to bring another edge to the defense.”
“I'm very happy for Timmy,” Fisher said. “He's a perfect fit for the Baltimore Ravens organization. They both play the game very physical. Timmy was one of the key reasons we had a top ranked defense the last couple of years. He was a great leader and will be a great player in the NFL.”
Jernigan was one of the most dominant interior linemen in all of college football during Florida State’s undefeated National Championship 2013 season, collecting All-ACC First Team honors from the league’s coaches and All-America First Team accolades from ESPN. The Lake City, Fla., native started all 14 games as a junior in 2013, totaling 63 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss and 4.4 sacks. Jernigan constantly fought off double teams from his nose guard position, enabling the Seminoles’ linebackers make plays. He had 4.5 tackles for a loss in monster game against Idaho and saved two of his best games for when it mattered most, tallying a career-high 10 tackles in the ACC Championship Game against Duke before adding nine stops against Auburn in the BCS National Championship in the Rose Bowl.
He and Brooks are only the second and third Seminoles ever selected by the Baltimore Ravens, joining Peter Boulware who was the fourth overall pick in 1997.
“It’s big,” Brooks said. “Not too many people get this opportunity. I definitely still have a lot to prove. God has a plan. I’m ready to go to work. (Timmy) and I – we both have that physical style of play and I think we are going to look real good in black. I’m glad to have him with me and I think we really gel.”
Brooks was a key leader on Florida State’s top-rated pass defense (156.6 ypg) in 2013.
“Terrence had a tremendous career for us, a great senior year,” Fisher said. “He's very versatile player. Again went to a great organization in the Ravens. I think he's going to be very successful. I'm very happy for him and his family.”
Brooks, a two-year starter, had 56 tackles, 80 tackles for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles en route to Coaches All-ACC First Team and CBSSports.com All-America First Team honors during Florida State’s National Championship run. Brooks wrapped up his four-year career with 127 tackles and five interceptions over 41 games with 26 starts.
The selection of Jernigan and Brooks by the Ravens marks the third year in a row that an NFL franchise has selected at least two ‘Noles in one draft (Bills, 2013: EJ Manuel and Dustin Hopkins; Redskins, 2013: Chris Thompson and Brandon Jenkins; Bills, 2012: Nigel Bradham and Zebrie Sanders).
The draft wraps up with rounds 4-7 Saturday beginning at noon ET. Fisher will be an analyst live on NFL Network from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.