By Josh Hyber | Photo by Travis Bell
CHARLESTON — Dakereon Joyner will see the field for South Carolina this season.
It’s just a matter of where and how often.
Several times during Spurs Up Tour events this past month and a half, Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp has reiterated that if his redshirt-freshman quarterback betters his team’s chance of winning, he will play. The coach repeated that point Tuesday when answering a fan question.
“Coach, Dakereon Joyner needs to be on the field in some way. He’s too valuable an asset for our football team,” the fan began. “Couldn’t he play in the wildcat formation like [former Gamecock] Pharoh Cooper did?”
“Well I’m not going to give away any secrets,” Muschamp answered. “But I agree. Number one, he’s an unbelievable human being, a great person. He’s got natural leadership ability. He positively effects everybody around him. And we’re really excited about him.
“He’s in competition right now for the backup job and continues to be. He understands how important this summer is for him and how big fall camp will be. But I wouldn’t disagree with that.”
Joyner was 10 of 23 for 185 yards and a touchdown and an interception in the South Carolina spring game. He also rushed for 60 yards on eight carries.
At Fort Dorchester High School in North Charleston, Joyner threw for more than 10,000 yards and, as a sophomore, led his team to its first state championship. As a junior he passed for 3,642 yards and 44 touchdowns and rushed for 1,089 yards and 12 more scores. As he senio he accounted for more than 3,400 yards and 52 touchdowns and finished his career 40-3 as a starter.
As an Elite 11 quarterback, South Carolina’s Mr. Football chose South Carolina over some of the top programs in the country.
Now the 6-1, 205-pounder finds himself in competition for the Gamecocks’ backup quarterback position with freshman Ryan Hilinski.
“[He had] a fantastic transition from year one to year two at the quarterback position,” Muschamp told reporters about Joyner before the event. “We’re excited about his future.”
Muschamp also commended several other Charleston-area Gamecocks, including Javon and Caleb Kinlaw (Goose Creek High School), OrTre Smith, Parker White and Bailey Hart (Wando), R.J. Roderick (Cane Bay) and Chandler Farrell (Summerville).