Josh Kendall

South Carolina’s quarterback of future being prepped by QB of the past

Perry Orth believes Dakereon Joyner is going to be a starting quarterback in college and a good one, but Orth doesn’t believe that will happen next year.

“It’s just a matter of getting him developed and into an offense and ingrained into everything that comes with being a quarterback,” Orth said.

Orth would know better than most about Joyner’s potential to be South Carolina’s starting quarterback in the future. Not only has Orth been exactly that, but he now runs QB1Athletics, a private quarterback coaching academy based in Columbia. Orth has worked with Joyner three times in one-on-one sessions, including once after Joyner’s appearance in the season-ending Shrine Bowl.

Orth’s organization is celebrating its first year in existence this weekend with free one-hour group training sessions on Saturday and Sunday at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. (More information is available by calling 724-814-0018 or emailing qb1.ath1etics@gmail.com.)

Joyner, a four-star prospect out of Fort Dorchester High School, signed with South Carolina in December and will enroll in school later this month. He is considered the team’s quarterback of the future because of his high recruiting ranking, and Orth hopes the Gamecocks give him ample time to develop into that.

“That’s how you develop quarterbacks,” Orth said. “You don’t throw them to the wolves.”

Joyner threw for 9,745 yards, rushed for 3,324 yards and totaled 157 touchdowns in a high school career that included being named the state’s Mr. Football his senior season.

“He’s a kid who’s got a live arm, and he’s athletic,” said Orth, who went from walk-on to starter and threw for almost 3,000 yards in his collegiate career. “His fundamentals have gotten better. He’s seen other people and the way you are supposed to play the position.”

Joyner’s work with Orth was his first with a private quarterbacks coach, Orth said.

“I think that he has so much upside and so much ability. He just didn’t have that structured coaching,” Orth said. “He just kind of picked up a ball and started throwing it with is dad when he was a little kid.”

Orth has worked specifically with Joyner on making sure he releases the ball high, finishes his follow through low and steps directly toward his target. If Joyner can master just the correct front step, he can make a big improvement in a big hurry, Orth said.

“He’s had a tendency to let his front foot be lazy, to go right or left or not get down,” Orth said. “I know it sounds very basic, but if you step to where you are throwing, you have a really good chance of being accurate.”

The good news for South Carolina is it doesn’t need a starting quarterback next year. With Jake Bentley returning for his junior season and his 21st straight start for the Gamecocks, Joyner should have plenty of time to watch and learn. The fact that Joyner already has shown such a willingness to learn shows Orth a lot, Orth said.

“That’s probably his best trait is he is so willing to do whatever I asked of him,” Orth said. “There are kids in South Carolina who have blown me off, and the fact that he’s been more than willing to come out and get work in and he’s probably 10 times better than those kids who have turned me down says a lot about his character.”

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