Joyer sibling rivalry in full swing

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The matchup was always a possibility when the brothers picked their schools, but it never seemed likely. Offensive guard Kamran Joyer began his collegiate career at Louisville while younger brother Hunter decided to take the reigns of the fullback position at Florida. A game between the Big East and Southeastern Conference schools wasn't likely, but it will end the 2012 season.

"I was really excited," Louisville offensive guard Kamran Joyer said about originally seeing the matchup announced. "We knew it was a possibility, but never in a million years did we think it was going to happen. It's great."

Without Kamran's leadership on and off the football field growing up, the matchup might not have the significance to the Joyer family. It might just be about Kamran facing off with his home state team in the rivalry with no little brother in sight.

But his ability to push younger brother Hunter changed that.

"I don't think I would be here if it wasn't for him," Florida fullback Hunter Joyer said after Florida practiced on Monday. "He's the one that got me into training and everything. I give him all the respect for it."

They grew up on the same team for every sport. If there was a ball involved, there's a good chance the Joyer brothers would be on the same team. Kamran is two years older, so Hunter became accustomed to playing against bigger, stronger opponents.

On Wednesday, they'll play against each other for the first time that either brother can remember.

"I was always on (Kamran's) teams and playing with him," Hunter said. "Every day, we'd have some sort of competition where we're playing with each other and competing. He's a great competitor and made me who I am."

It didn't matter what the challenge was, neither brother shied away. Football, basketball, video games and even pushup contests were all on the docket in the Joyer household. And there was always a winner. Hunter estimated the outcome usually being split down the middle, despite him being two years younger.

But it was always physical. Sometimes random wrestling matchups would even break out. That's the time Hunter got hurt the worst. The two broke into a fight on their parents bed one day, and Kamran ended up landing on Joyer's head, pushing it down and taking the younger brother to the ground. The diagnosis was a sprained neck that kept him inactive for a few days.

"I thought I broke my neck," Hunter said. "I thought I was paralyzed or something."

It was all in love back then and both brothers talked about shaking it off and being back to normal within a few hours. Hunter called their relationship "just like all brothers" in their times of play.

That will change on Wednesday.

"It's going to be crazy," Kamran said, adding that there has been some trash talking between the brothers. "I'm going to look over and see my little brother. It's going to be crazy to look over there and see him."

There's an added advantage for both brothers in this matchup. They're both extra familiar with the opponent after spending the season watching them. Kamran watched Florida games to keep tabs on Hunter, while Hunter would spend any available time on Saturdays watching his older brother play for the Cardinals.

"I've watched them a lot more than any other team we've played," Hunter said. "I root for them every Saturday. I know a little more about them, but I don't know if that's an advantage. I'm just watching as a fan."

The family allegiance will be the interesting part.

"They're going to split it up — half Louisville, half Gators," Kamran said with a laugh.

Dawg Post Top Stories