Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

Recruit Eval: Keion Joyner

Evaluation of UNC target Keion Joyner from Friday's game.

HAVELOCK, N.C. --- For the fourth consecutive time, Havelock went into New Bern and came out victorious. Friday’s 41-6 victory, though, might have been the sweetest since it avenged last season’s New Bern come-from-behind victory on Havelock’s field.

Keion Joyner, Havelock, ‘16

Joyner accumulated eight tackles – including a sack – on Friday, which perhaps isn't the prolific output you'd expect from a five-star linebacker. 

In his defense, Havelock’s scheme – which switched to a 4-4 following its coordinator change this past offseason – positioned Joyner mostly outside of the tackle box, often over the top of a slot receiver (almost like a spur). Additionally, Joyner was asked to blitz far less on Friday (maybe three times) than he has in previous seasons.

Even with all that said, Joyner did miss on a pair of open field tackle attempts. Those situations appeared to be more about his technique, which can be fixed with coaching, as he would overrun his target (see clip No. 2) or be fooled by a fake.

Also, while there certainly were times when he quickly closed on a ball carrier (see clip No. 5) or bulldozed a blocker (see clip No. 4), Joyner didn’t always play with the tenacity you hope to find in a linebacker of his caliber. Many times throughout the game he appeared content with allowing someone else to make the play.

Regardless, Joyner exhibited the range and length to function in open space, and also the athleticism to cover receivers. For a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder, he has quick feet, which allows him to react swiftly as the offensive play develops. Lastly, very rarely does a blocker successfully impede Joyner’s pursuit.

Tony Sharpe, Havelock, '17

Sharpe was the star of the night. The 5-foot-8, 184-pound running back rushed for three touchdowns. He ended the game with 147 yards on 25 carries (5.88-yard average).

Although a tough runner, who uses a low center of gravity to eke out every last inch upon contact, Sharpe probably doesn’t have enough wiggle or speed to become an ACC running back. However, he should play somewhere on the next level.

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