Dakereon Joyner will arrive on South Carolina’s campus on Jan. 10 ready for anything.
Even if that anything means a redshirt season.
“If I have to, I have no problem with that. It gives me more time to get better and develop. That’s even better for me,” Joyner said. “Do I want to? I’m not going in with the mindset of redshirting, no, but if it happens, I won’t be disappointed.”
That’s not the typical mindset for a recruit of Joyner’s stature, much less a quarterback. The Fort Dorchester product is a four-star recruit and the state’s Mr. Football. He is considered the nation’s 10th-best dual-threat quarterback by 247Sports.com’s composite ranking system after compiling 9,745 passing yards, 3,324 rushing yards and 157 total touchdowns in his high school career.
Still, he has a ways to go to be a polished college quarterback, he believes.
“I’m most definitely a dual-threat because I’ve got things to work on,” he said. “I’m not a clean quarterback yet. I am not the cleanest I want to be yet, but I can definitely run the ball. But soon enough I will consider myself a pocket passer that can run.”
He can win. He’s already proven that. Joyner was 40-3 as Fort Dorchester’s starting quarterback with all three losses coming to back-to-back state champion Dutch Fork.
Joyner will sign with the Gamecocks on Dec. 20 and believes the team will have a replacement for offensive coordinator Kurt Roper by the time he arrives on campus, he said, but he’s not worried about whoever that happens to be.
“Whatever happens, happens. I never really thought about it because I’m going to be there no matter what coach we decide to pick. I’m going to run his offense,” Joyner said. “It really doesn’t matter. I’ve just got to just go on with the mindset of new coach, clean slate. Everybody has a clean slate so it will probably be even better for me.”
Joyner has learned to roll with the punches in his life since his father Damond Joyner died from a heart attack when Dakereon was 9 years old.
“That was my right-hand man, my best friend,” he said. “It shaped me a lot. It kind of molded me into the man I am today. I had to grow up and become a man when I was 9 years old. I just had to find a way to get things done and that’s what happened.”
Joyner directs a prayer toward his father before every game he plays. He declined to share the contents of that prayer.
“That’s too personal,” he said.
But he did share what it does for him.
“It makes me feel like he’s on my back and has me on the field and I feel safe,” Joyner said.