February 10, 2009

With UT offer, physical Joyner talks game, recruiting

Even before Sunday's skills camp at Miami Beach, the talk Saturday night from camp organizers and coaches was seeing talented defensive back Lamarcus Joyner go head-to-head with some of the top skill position players on offense.

Joyner didn't disappoint in the workouts featuring more than 50 of South Florida's top 2010 playmakers and prospects. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound speedster with freakishly long arms and wingspan repeatedly stood strong against talented wideouts.

"This is what I do. I like when they say people are good, I'm going to always be a notch ahead of them," Joyner said. "All this great stuff, that just gives me that competitiveness to come out here and take it to a whole other level."

With a host of offers including a recent one from Tennessee, Joyner is just getting warmed up in the recruiting process.

"Yeah, that was great. I'd been waiting for the offer, and then it came," Joyner said of the Vols' formal invitation. "It was great. I met the coach (Eddie Gran), and it was great to get the offer."

Joyner, who expects to take unofficial visits to both Illinois and Ohio State in the coming months, also said he would like to check out Knoxville if he can work it out.

"Me and my uncle (Miami-area high school assistant John Drummond) are going to sit down and see where we can go visit because of the finances and stuff," he said. "That's a great choice to go there if we can."

Drummond has been a strong influence in Joyner's football development, and Joyner doesn't take Drummond's role lightly.

"Oh man, he's like an uncle who's a father to me," he said. "Every since I was 8 years old, that's when we were first getting started. He's a great guy. I look up to him. He's a good role model."

And while Joyner has tried to pick up traits of several successful defensive backs, he believes his aggressive, active approach is perhaps his biggest strength.

"I'd say being physical. With my explosiveness, they might underestimate me or call me a little guy, but I'm all ripped and I like to change minds of people. Explode," he said. "It just comes from where I'm from and the things I've been taught.

"It's not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog. Stuff like that. And just working hard, like on a mission."

Joyner's mission to choose a college destination isn't likely to end soon, he said.

"I think it will go after signing day," said the already-prized 2010 prospect. "It's going to be a tough decision."

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