USC Gamecocks Football

Bryan McClendon weighs in on talk of Dakereon Joyner changing positions

It's "way too early" to talk about South Carolina freshman quarterback Dakereon Joyner changing positions, Gamecocks offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon said Thursday. That's not stopping people from talking about it, though.

"I still think the kid has a bright future playing quarterback. Just going to have to keep progressing and see how things go from there," McClendon said before addressing the Atlanta Gamecock Club. "To even say somebody can go and do anything else right now when you see their first spring practice and they should be in high school, it’s kind of early to say anything one way or another."

ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill suggested earlier this month during a radio interview that Joyner would be best served by playing a position other than quarterback. He later followed up on that opinion on Twitter when someone suggested that Joyner might transfer if the Gamecocks ask him to switch positions.

"That would be an ignorant and poor decision on his part," Luginbill said. "Nobody has a crystal ball, but that kid needs the ball in his hands and to be on the field and his best option isn't at QB. he could be Percy Harvin."

Joyner was South Carolina's Mr. Football his senior year after a career in which he threw for 9,745 yards, rushed for 3,324 yards, scored 157 total touchdowns and was 40-3 with a state championship at Fort Dorchester High School. Joyner participated in spring practice with the Gamecocks and was 1-for-5 passing with 25 yards and one interception in the spring game.

It's not easy to know when a player has had enough time to prove themselves at one position, McClendon said.

"I have heard a bunch of different things," the coach said. "I think you have to go until a guy kind of plateaus a little bit. I don’t think there is a cookie cutter answer."

Some coaches say a player needs at least two spring practices to develop, but that might not be fair to Joyner since his first spring came when he should have been a high school senior, McClendon said.

"He still has a bright future and a lot left to learn to play quarterback," McClendon said.