Florida State Seminoles: 2013 top 25 player countdown

No. 9. Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State

Previous ranking: No. 15

Making the case for Joyner: As one of the top defensive backs in the country, Joyner will be showcasing his versatility this year at corner, where he played during the spring. He spent the past two seasons as the starting strong safety, where he has started 27 straight games, and he is also one of the top kick returners in school history. In a top-10 win over Clemson, Joyner returned five kickoffs for 185 yards, including one for 90 yards. He has played in every game since he arrived at Florida State as a freshman in 2010, and is now the leader of the defense. Joyner has great range because of his speed, which allows him to cover a lot of ground in the secondary. Joyner is on the watch lists this year for the Thorpe Award, Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Lott Impact Trophy and Paul Hornung Award.

The countdown
No. 15. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
FSU
Previous ranking: Not ranked

Making the case for Jernigan: He’s oozing potential, but even after only two starts last fall, he’s played enough that it’s clear Jernigan is one of the nation’s top returning tackles. Jernigan is expected to step into a starting role this fall, and he’s got the experience of 26 career games as a foundation. He’s quick into opponents’ backfields, as he had the most tackles amongst all FSU interior linemen in each of his first two seasons.

This year, Jernigan is a candidate for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the nation's top interior lineman, as well as the Lombardi Award, given to the nation's top lineman. He enters 2013 with 76 career tackles and 14 tackles for loss. If he picks up where he left off, Jernigan should have a breakout season. He finished 2012 strong, with 22 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in his final four games. He was also an impact player in the ACC title game win over Georgia Tech, when he had the team’s only sack.

The countdown

 

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