LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As part of the press circuit in preparation for Thursday night's Home Depot College Football Awards, I had the chance to speak with ESPN analyst David Pollack.
A former Georgia star defensive end and first-round NFL draft pick, Pollack knows a thing or two about the play of defensive linemen so I took the chance to ask him about Florida State's standouts on the defensive front.
Seminoles.com: What are your impressions of Bjoern Werner?
Pollack: "I love the way Bjoern plays. He's got some good quickness off the ball. He's not just a 'try-hard guy.' Usually you get a light-skinned defensive lineman and he's the 'try-hard' guy but he's got some good ability and he's going to be a very good player. He's got good strength and he knows how to rush the passer. He's really going to be a fun player to watch."
Seminoles.com: Junior Brandon Jenkins has submitted his paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Committee and depending on what he learns may leave FSU a year early. What do you think he should do? What does he do well that translates to the NFL?
Pollack: "He needs to come back and play another year with Werner. Those two together could do some damage. Brandon is as explosive as it gets. He can get off the football. He's definitely quick. It's always a personal decision. You always file your paperwork and see where you're slated [to be picked] and you decide but that defense has got so many young guys that will be coming back that it's going to be fun to watch. But Brandon's a baller. He knows how to get after the quarterback."
Seminoles.com: He's not a defensive end like you were but he's worth mentioning. What do you think of freshman defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan?
Pollack: "He's going to be a good player. FSU just keeps rotating those young, talented guys in there. He looks like a freak in the middle. FSU's got a bunch of guys. The 'Noles are one of the few teams in the ACC that have the defensive impact players in the trenches. FSU is one of the few teams in the country other than than the SEC that has a bunch of guys in the trenches that can make a difference. "
Seminoles.com: Jimbo Fisher talks frequently about the importance of playing well on defense above all else...
Pollack: "It's a perfect state to continue to build that great depth. Florida is a perfect place for it and South Georgia -- or as Coach Fisher calls it, North Florida. That staff has recruited really well the last two years and I expect that team and defense to get even better."
Seminoles.com: As the lone player representing FSU at the awards show, what are your thoughts on Dustin Hopkins?
Pollack: "He's got a horse leg doesn't he? I remember being at the Oklahoma game and seeing it come off his leg and thinking, 'holy cow.' He's good and he's still got another year so that's a good thing obviously. For a school that has some negative history with kickers it's got to feel good for FSU fans to have a guy like that."