Colleges have been monitoring Dayton Jernigan all season, but one has finally leapt into the forefront of the recruiting process for the Pioneer lineman. Carson Newman University extended an offer Monday, hoping to lock down the services of one of the best blockers in the Midstate.
Jernigan, who will be rehabbing his second knee injury in two years in the coming months, couldn’t have been happier after hearing from the Eagles. He has been dreaming about playing college football for years and now knows he’ll have a chance at a prestigious school in East Tennessee.
“It’s truly a blessing. Carson Newman is an amazing school with a football team that just set the stage to be an amazing program,” said Jernigan about the offer. “They were 1-9 last year but this year they went 6-4 and are only going to get better. The offer is a little more special because my offensive line coach in middle school, coach (Jeff) Lee, was part of the Carson Newman program and won titles with them.”
Jernigan was recently named to the Region 3-6A team for the second time (he missed out as a junior due to an injury that allowed him to play just six quarters in 2021) and has been a warrior in the trenches for Warren County the last three seasons. While he is capable of playing defensive line and disrupting games, the Eagles are hoping he can beef up their offensive line.
Carson Newman has immediately jumped toward the top of Jernigan’s list of colleges, but he isn’t planning on rushing a decision. Other schools have been in constant contact and he’ll take his time in making a choice.
“I’m still feeling out my opportunities right now. I plan to sign on signing day,” said Jernigan.
Whether it’s the Eagles or another school, one thing is for sure now: Jernigan will be a college football player.