USC Gamecocks Football

The public tone Dakereon Joyner has taken after losing No. 2 QB battle

There are ways to deal with a decision in a quarterback room that are ... perhaps the best phrase is, not socially graceful

Earlier this offseason, Ohio State saw some online sniping between new QB Justin Fields and soon-to-be-departing passer Tate Martell that involved Field and Martell’s sister’s Instagram account. South Carolina’s Dakereon Joyner is taking the kind of public tact that contrasts sharply with any of that.

Joyner’s high school coach, Steve LaPrad, said the second-year passer was stung when he was passed on the depth chart by true freshman Ryan Hilinski. It left Joyner with some choices to make. But since then, Joyner’s ventures onto social media have delivered a message of optimism.

The Twitter post at least looks forward, referring to a delay, but not a missed chance. The topic of a position change was mentioned by LaPrad and Bryan McClendon, South Carolina’s offensive coordinator, but it’s also possible Joyner stays at QB and battles Hilinski and Luke Doty next season after Jake Bentley graduates.

In a world where quarterback transfers are nearly the norm, that’s also something to at least acknowledge.

Joyner was a decorated high school player and the No. 206 player in the country in his recruiting class. He threw for nearly 10,000 yards in high school and ran for 1,000 yards multiple times.

Coaches said the 6-foot-1, 208-pounder improved as a passer by leaps and bounds through the offseason. He got into one game last year, running for 24 yards and throwing for one deep into garbage time.

McClendon said there were different situations where they could use Joyner, and that if he’s one of the best options the team has, they’ll get him on the field “ in some way, shape or form.” He did some work as a jet sweep runner in bowl practice last season on scout team and has played running back and receiver on scout team as well.

McClendon’s own words preceded Joyner’s. The North Charleston product didn’t practice the day he got the news, but he was back the next two days, and his coach said he’s just a player who wants to take on any role to help the team.

“Regardless of what the skill set might be, or what the situation or the position might be, you want guys that want to embrace that,” McClendon said.

“Joyner wants to be here, and he’s working hard.”

West Coast raised. Midwest educated. Southern football indoctrinated. Covers most everything Gamecocks, primarily football.
Support my work with a digital subscription