Jerrell Jernigan named 5A Coach of the Year

Published 12:02 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

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Former Troy Trojan Jerrell Jernigan has been named the Class 5A Coach of the Year after his Eufaula Tigers made it to the Class 5A State Semifinals this season.

Jernigan, a Eufaula native, took over his alma mater’s program in 2022 after serving as an assistant coach for a number of years. In his first season he led Eufaula to a 7-3 season and a 25th straight appearance in the playoffs. In 2023, his team went 10-4 – the first time the school has won 10 or more games since 2011 – and made it to the fourth round of the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Jernigan was an All-State quarterback at Eufaula and went on to earn a scholarship to Troy University, where he became one of the most prolific receivers in school history. During his career, Jernigan became just the third player in Sun Belt history to accumulate more than 5,000 all-purpose yards, which is also a school record.

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He also broke the career receiving yards, receptions and receptions per game records at Troy and his 77 catches as a sophomore set the single-season record, which was a record he would break as a senior with 84 catches. Jernigan earned All-Sun Belt honors three times as a receiver, twice as an all-purpose athlete and twice as a kick returner. In 2017, Jernigan was inducted into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame.

Jernigan was drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and played for four years with the Giants, winning a Super Bowl ring during his rookie season. He went on to catch 38 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns along with 4 carries for 61 yards and a score during his Giant career. He also returned 20 kickoffs for 492 yards. His best season as a pro came in 2013 when he caught 29 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns along with 57 yards and a touchdown rushing and 246 yards on 11 kickoff returns.