Five-Star LB Joyner Knows His Official Visits

Keion Joyner, a five-star linebacker from Havelock (N.C.), High, plans to officially visit UNC this fall. And he's about to take another unofficial visit to Chapel Hill as well.

HAVELOCK, N.C. --- Despite a lengthy list of scholarship offers, five-star linebacker Keion Joyner made just one recruiting visit this past summer. To counterbalance, he’s begun to map out his official visit schedule.

“Right now, the only one that I have sort of set up is Florida State for the Miami game, but it’s not really set up,” Joyner said. “That’s supposed to be a really good game.”

Additionally, the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder from Havelock says he’s working on official visit dates with LSU, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Oregon.

“Florida State and LSU, those are just two places that I’ve always wanted to go and visit and see what it’s about. I’ve been to LSU, because that’s home. And Florida State, I’ve seen their defense, but I want to go down there and see it face to face.

“Oregon is one of the places that I’ve always wanted to visit and I want to see what they’re really about defensive wise and to see the facilities and to meet the coaching staff and players.

“Ohio State is smash mouth football. And the National Championship doesn’t hurt, either.

“And Carolina, it’s kind of like my second home. I liked just going to games [there] and just knowing that the season will be a better season.”

Joyner warns, though, that those five schools aren’t his finalists.

“I’m trying to keep my options open,” Joyner said. “Those are just places that I really want to see.”

However, Joyner did admit that he has a leader. But, he doesn’t plan to reveal its identity until he announces his verbal commitment during the Under Armour All-American Game.

“I have to keep everybody guessing,” Joyner said with a smile.

That mystery school is leading, says Joyner, because of its “coaching status and just seeing them as a team. And then really, hopefully I get to see how the players react towards the coaches.”

Joyner hopes to examine player-coach interactions during each of his official visits.

In the meantime, Joyner will return to UNC unofficially on Wednesday. UNC was the only school he visited this summer.

“[Havelock assistant coach Matt Handley] and I wanted to go visit again,” Joyner said. “My coach wanted to talk to the DB coach. And then I just wanted to sit down and talk to Coach [Gene] Chizik, like about stunts and where I would fit on the team.”

Joyner previously sat down with Chizik in June, before watching Fedora’s Freak Show from the sidelines.

“The first time we sat down [together], we just went over practice film,” Joyner said. “I really enjoyed looking at it, because he coaches hard and you have to get to the ball and then you have to show effort and then you have to finish to the end.”

Joyner’s communication with Chizik hasn’t been limited to their face-t0-face meetings. The two speak every other week.

“He just tells me, ‘We want you here and our defense would fit great around you,’” Joyner said. “He said I’m going to rush [the passer], drop back – just whatever the situation is.”

Although nothing has been scheduled, Joyner also hopes to attend a South Carolina game this fall. Friend and Havelock alum Pharoh Cooper stars at wide receiver (among other things) for the Gamecocks.

“I really want to see what South Carolina is going to do this year,” Joyner said. “I want to see if they’re going to come up somewhat in the status, because I haven’t really been able to go down there and see that much.”

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