USC Gamecocks Football

Will Muschamp wants to get Dakereon Joyner into a game. Why it hasn’t happened yet

South Carolina quarterback Dakereon Joyner at practice Monday, Aug. 6. 8/6/18
South Carolina quarterback Dakereon Joyner at practice Monday, Aug. 6. 8/6/18 dmclemore@thestate.com

In college football, it’s not often a No. 3 quarterback, even one with as much curiosity surrounding him as South Carolina’s Dakereon Joyner, finds his way into a ball game.

Joyner has worked behind starter Jake Bentley and veteran Michael Scarnecchia. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said Joyner has been doing extremely well, but explained on his weekly call-in show why the freshman from North Charleston has yet to see the field.

“It’s a situation, it just takes time sometimes,” Muschamp said. “Especially at that position, to get an opportunity. We’ve been in a lot of tight ballgames. We haven’t been in a lot of situations to give guys some snaps and get them playing time, which we certainly would’ve love to have done. And we still may have that opportunity moving forward.”

USC’s past three ballgames have ended with a margin of a field goal or less. The game before, the Gamecocks trailed Kentucky most of the way, and before that Scarnecchia saw much of the late work in blowouts.

Joyner came to Columbia as a four-star prospect and Mr. Football winner. He led Fort Dorchester to a state title and a 40-3 record. As a senior, he threw for 2,376 yards and 31 touchdowns. On the ground, he ran 149 times for 980 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Through the offseason, there was talk of a special package for him, or perhaps moving him to another spot.

Muschamp waved off the latter idea, and has spoken well of Joyner’s work at the quarterback spot.

“I’m very pleased with where he is and where his progress has been,” Muschamp said. “He continues to improve every day. He’s extremely bright. He’s got a great work ethic and excited about his future at South Carolina.”

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