One of the best quarterbacks in the 2018 class came off the board Sunday when 4-star recruit Dakereon Joyner offered a verbal pledge to play for coach Will Muschamp and the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Joyner made the decision on Father’s Day at his high school as a way honor to his late father. It was an emotional day for all involved, one Joyner will probably never forget.
— Grace Beahm (@GraceBeahm) June 18, 2017
At the end of the day, the Palmetto State product decided to stay home and be a part of Muschamp’s rebuilding plans.
Muschamp and Co. should be very happy with Joyner’s decision; Joyner has all the tools to be a difference-maker when gets to Columbia.
Other schools, namely Clemson, offered Joyner the opportunity to play at another position, but Muschamp was one of the few that believed in Joyner as a quarterback.
Quickly after taking over for Steve Spurrier — who first offered Joyner a scholarship — Muschamp made Joyner a major priority, and the faith that Muschamp and the South Carolina staff put in Joyner paid off in the end.
More on Joyner’s reasoning for choosing the Gamecocks from Andrew Miller of The Post and Courier:
“They were on me from the very beginning under Coach Spurrier, and Coach Muschamp was there with me, too,” Joyner said. “They were down with me since Day 1. They believed in me. Coach Muschamp called me the day he got the job and told me he believed in me. He told me he believed in me as a quarterback, and he’s been the only college coach to do that. When I told Coach Muschamp I was going to commit, he was really excited, and he said, ‘I’m glad you believe in us.’ “
As Muschamp tries to rebuild the South Carolina program, Joyner portends to play a critical part in those plans.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound dual-threat quarterback from North Charleston, S.C. (Fort Dorchester High School) is rated as a 4-star recruit according to 247 Sports. The site ranks him as the No. 227 overall prospect in the 2018 class and 10th-best dual-threat quarterback in the country. 247 Sports also regards Joyner as the fourth-best football player in South Carolina.
He chose the Gamecocks over his other finalist North Carolina State. Besides his offer from Clemson, Joyner also yielded offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Louisville, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee and other major programs.
By every definition, Joyner is an athlete. Joyner uses his arms and legs to their fullest capacity and could do damage throwing bombs downfield just as well as bowling over would-be tacklers while running.
Last season at Fort Dorchester, Joyner threw for 3,642 yards and 44 touchdowns and added 1,089 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing.
With Joyner’s commitment, Muschamp’s 2018 recruiting class jumped eight spots to 34th on 247 Sports rankings. The haul ranks seventh-best among SEC teams.
While Joyner figures to work behind Jake Bentley by the time he arrives on campus, Joyner’s time will come and he’s working on attracting more top-tier recruits to join him in Columbia.
He told Ben Breiner of The State that he was going to try to persuade Xavier Thomas — the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2018 class — to flip from Clemson to South Carolina and convince Stephon Wynn to join the burgeoning class.
Thomas and Wynn both hail from the Palmetto State and now play at prep juggernaut IMG Academy.
Even if Thomas and Wynn don’t come, Joyner should be able to attract more top-tier talent down the line. Joyner already has a solid floor, but his ceiling could lead to a stellar career.
While Father’s Day is already a special day, this particular Father’s Day might etch itself into South Carolina fans’ memories for quite some time.