In his final season at Arkansas State, senior defensive end Brandon Joiner is looking for one thing: a championship. The 6'3", 255 lb. senior showed off a personality even bigger than he is in an interview after Monday's practice. His catch phrase: "Last chance for romance."
"After college, the pros aren't promised to you. If you wanna keep playing at the next level you've got to do everything you can this year. It's your last chance for romance," Joiner said.
The Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team selection is looking to play at the next level, but right now he said he isn't looking any farther than the ring he's after this season.
"I'm thinking about the next level, but most of all I want that jewelry. I want that conference championship and I want to go to a bowl game and win a bowl ring," Joiner said. "I'm talkin about two rings, you know. These guys worked hard all summer and they deserve it."
After the Red Wolf defense dominated ASU's first scrimmage Saturday, Joiner credited success to an experienced group of players on the defensive side of the ball.
"This year is different because you've got a lot of young guys looking up to you, and it's your last go around," Joiner said. "Our defense is very mature. We have a lot of returners."
While the defense may be the strength of this Arkansas State team this year, as head coach Hugh Freeze called it after Saturday's scrimmage, Joiner has confidence in the progress of the young offense as well.
"Our offense has some young guys, but they're coming along real good. Everybody makes mistakes at times but they keep fighting through it, and we keep coming together as a unit. We're gonna be alright," Joiner said.
One thing the Red Wolf defense is still adapting to is a new defensive coordinator, Coach Dave Wommack. However, Joiner said playing in this new defensive system is a dream come true.
"Coach Wommack, man that dude's a genius when it comes to defense," Joiner said.
Joiner went on to talk about the excitement of playing in a system like Wommack's.
"We can come from the left, we can come from the middle, we can come from the right, we can make you think we're coming when we're not, we can make you think we're not coming and we come," Joiner said. "It's just amazing, it's the kind of defense I always wanted to play for, I think it's NFL style."
In his second and final season at Arkansas State, expect big things out of this 2010 JUCO transfer. Originally a Texas A&M signee, Joiner was an All-American nominee in 2005. He redshirted his freshman year at A&M, then played two years at Navarro College, where he received All-America Honorable Mention in 2009.
Last year for the Red Wolves Joiner recorded 34 tackles (second most on the team for defensive ends), four sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Watch for No. 99 to increase his numbers this year as he takes advantage of his "last chance for romance."
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