The Daily Nole

83 Days Until FSU Football: No. 83 Lawrence Timmons Shines During Lost Decade

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There are now 83 days left until Florida State football plays Virginia Tech in the season opener. As part of the offseason, we’re doing a countdown that highlights players, games, and specific moments from Florida State football history.

On Monday, it was former defensive tackle Corey Simon and his 84 tackles during the 1999 national championship season.

Today, it’s former linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who donned the No. 83 jersey and proved to be a shining light during a dark period of FSU football history.

Timmons is originally from Florence, South Carolina and came to Florida State as a top 10 outside linebacker. Despite generally high ratings, Timmons was stuck behind Ernie Sims for his first two years in Tallahassee.

He only received special teams duties as a freshman and rotational play as a sophomore. He did give fans a glimpse of what was to come in the 2005 ACC Championship, where he sacked Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick twice and forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter of a 27-22 upset victory for the Seminoles.

Still, going into his junior season in 2006, Timmons had totaled just 47 tackles and three sacks.

It was that junior season where he burst on to the scene as a highly-talented and versatile linebacker. Timmons was exceptional in run defense and could hold his own in pass coverage, which allowed him to be one of the few stars of that 2006 squad. By the end of the season, Timmons amassed 79 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, five sacks, and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.

Despite his strong showing, Timmons received little recognition from either the ACC or national publications. Much of that can be attributed to the team he was on.

The Seminoles were in the midst of the “Lost Decade” under a declining Bobby Bowden. They went just 7-6 — 3-5 in ACC play — that season and barely made a bowl game, meaning Timmons’ excellent individual play was shrouded by the overall poor play of the team.

It’s a fair argument that in any other stretch of modern FSU football, Timmons would have been regarded much more highly as a player. Unfortunately for his Florida State legacy, he came in at the exact wrong time.

Despite these setbacks, Timmons was able to turn his outstanding 2006 season into a first-round selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2007 NFL Draft. He has spent 11 years in the NFL and most recently played for the Miami Dolphins. Timmons has recorded over 1,000 tackles and 35 sacks so far to go with one Pro Bowl appearance.

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