Jerry attended Louisiana State University from 1959 – 1962, where he was an All-American running back and runner-up for the Heisman trophy in 1962. He received his undergraduate degree from Missouri Baptist College, while playing in the National Football League for the St. Louis Cardinals, who chose him as their #1 draft choice (2nd overall) in the 1963 NFL Draft. Jerry was a 3-time Pro Bowl defensive back for the Cardinals and played 9 seasons in St. Louis before retiring from the NFL in 1971.
With his professional football career behind him, Jerry was hired as an assistant coach to Paul Dietzel at the University of South Carolina before he returned to Baton Rouge to serve as an assistant coach to Charles McClendon. Stovall was promoted to head football coach at LSU in 1980, and during his three-year tenure he was named SEC Coach of the Year (1983) and Walter Camp National Coach of the Year (1983). He also led the Tigers to an Orange Bowl bid in 1983.
- College Football Hall of fame – Inducted in 2010
- 3× Pro Bowl (1966, 1967, 1969)