Josh Kendall

Drama free zone? Decision day arrives for USC’s top QB recruit

Dakereon Joyner will make a much-anticipated announcement Sunday about the next step in his football career. He doesn’t know why some people think there isn’t much drama left in that decision.

Joyner, a four-star, dual-threat quarterback prospect from Fort Dorchester High in North Charleston, is deciding between South Carolina and N.C. State. Joyner is the kind of recruit on which fortunes could turn, but no one seems to be on the edge of their seats as the announcement approaches.

On 247Sports’ Crystal Ball projection page, which allows fans and media members to enter their pick of where they think a prospect will go, 95 percent of respondents have predicted Joyner will choose the Gamecocks. The man who’s making the announcement wonders why everyone is coming to that conclusion.

“Everyone has their own opinions,” he told The State. “Why do they feel like that? I don’t know. I didn’t give anybody a reason to feel that way.”

However Sunday ends, the Gamecocks and Wolfpack will battle again on Sept. 2 in the season-opener for both teams at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

“That’s pretty crazy,” Joyner said. “I didn’t realize that until March.”

Joyner made his decision more than a month ago, he said, but wanted to wait until Father’s Day to announce it as a tribute to his late father, who died when he was 9.

“I’m pretty excited, kind of emotional as well because it’s Father’s Day,” he said. “I am excited to get it over with. I have wanted to get it over with for a while. It’s going to be a day to remember, for sure.”

Joyner doesn’t have any plans for a dramatic announcement involving live mascots or shenanigans, he said. He will make his pledge at Fort Dorchester High in a 4 p.m. ceremony and plans to release the news on Twitter at the same time. The 6-foot-2, 200 pounder was clocked at 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Nike recruiting camp in Charlotte in May and has scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma and Oregon among others.

“Everyone wants a quarterback who can move, just someone who can move when the play breaks down,” he said. “I am a pass-first guy. I can sling it when I need to and then use my feet to get out of trouble.”

Gamecocks offensive coordinator Kurt Roper has laid out for Joyner what his playbook would look like with a player of Joyner’s athletic ability behind center, Joyner said.

“They still definitely need that guy,” Joyner said. “I saw what (Roper) was trying to do this year. Quarterback runs can really hurt defenses a lot more than they did last year.”

After his verbal commitment, Joyner will turn his attention back to his Fort Dorchester team, which he led to the state title in 2015 and the Lower State championship game in 2016. Last season, Fort Dorchester’s season ended with a 49-24 loss to Dutch Fork despite Joyner’s 427 yards of offense. Joyner would like one more state title before his high school career is finished, he said.

“That’s all I really need to do,” he said. “I did it before.”

Top 10 dual-threat QBs in nation

A look at where Dakereon Joyner ranks among the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the Class of 2018, according to the 247 composite rankings:





1. Justin Fields

Kennesaw, Ga.



2. Emory Jones

Franklin, Ga.


Ohio State

3. Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Las Vegas



4. Phil Jurkovec

Gibsonia, Pa.


Notre Dame

5. Colson Yankoff

Coeur D Alene, Ind.



6. Justin Rogers

Bossier City, La.



7. Adrian Martinez

Fresno, Calif.



8. Casey Thompson

Moore, Ok.



9. Spencer Sanders

Denton, Texas


Oklahoma State

10. Dakereon Joyner

N. Charleston


TBA Sunday