Joyner Gives Latest on Recruitment

Lamarcus Joyner's recruitment has been a topic of discussion for nearly all of 2009, and there doesn't appear to be a quick end in sight. He continues to change his favorite list on a weekly basis, and now has added a visit to Notre Dame to his agenda. Bill Greene spoke to Joyner following his game last Friday against Miramar and filed this report.

The recruiting saga of five-star defensive back Lamarcus Joyner promises to continue moving forward in the immediate future. Joyner, from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, is having a great senior season and spoke about how things are going for him.

"Things are going real well right now, and I couldn't be happier," Joyner stated, "We are playing well and we're coming along as a team and coming together as a family. I love playing for St. Thomas and I hope I can be a part of another national championship for (head coach) George Smith."

Joyner helped lead St. Thomas Aquinas to an impressive win over Miramar 31-7 last Friday night, all the more impressive because of an injury suffered in practice the week before.

"I did alright tonight but I really wasn't called on to do much," he said. "Everyone thought I was out for the year after the hand injury, but I knew that wasn't happening when they told me all I had to do was be able to handle the pain. My bone came through the skin but I don't even think about it at all anymore. I just want to compete and win football games."

Joyner was the star performer earlier this fall in a St. Thomas win over Byrnes, South Carolina. In a game filled with four- and five-star athletes, Joyner stood out above all of them in keying his team's impressive win.

"That win was big for this team and just might be the reason we end up having a great season," he said. "A lot of the guys had been playing a little selfishly up to that point, myself included. Now, we've got our stuff straight and we're doing things the right way because nobody is worrying about their own situation, but everyone is focused strictly on the team. We should be very tough to beat the rest of the way if we stay the way we are today. The Byrnes win might have looked good for me personally, but it was far better for St. Thomas Aquinas."

The continuing recruiting saga of Joyner has taken more twists and turns than a Stephen King novel, a fact he admits readily today.

"Things do change for me all the time and that's why I've stopped doing a lot of interviews for the most part, but you have always been more than fair to me so I always do them with you," he said with a laugh. "Sometimes schools can clear up something you have a problem with, so they go back on the list after being off it earlier. Sometimes you just say the first thing that pops into your head and you might be tired or distracted, but I try to be as honest as I can all the time."

Joyner also updated his favorite list once again, adding a few schools back into the mix, after having eliminated them earlier in the process.

"Right now, I have five schools I'm looking at real hard," Joyner admitted. "I like Florida State, USC, Alabama, Ohio State and Florida. I've also set up a visit to Notre Dame and I will be going with a few of my teammates from Ft. Thomas. I don't have any visits set up to USC, Alabama, Florida or Florida State yet, but I've been to all of those schools but USC on unofficial visits. I have talked with the Notre Dame coaches and I‘m anxious to see what they‘re all about."

Joyner grew up a fan of Florida State and their struggles make people believe they are out of the recruiting picture, but Joyner insists that is not true.

"No, I haven't eliminated Florida State at all, and I'm not down on the program one bit," Joyner stressed. "I still talk to the recruiting coordinator (James Coley) all the time and he keeps me up to date on what's happening inside the program. I know their season hasn't gone real well at all, but it might be a good thing to be part of the class that brings the Florida State program back into the national spotlight once again."

Joyner has had Ohio State at, or near, the top of his list for quite some time now, and he admitted he has strong feelings for the Buckeye program.

"I love Ohio State and I have tremendous respect for that program, and Coach Jim Tressel," he said. "I've been up there three times and I think I know everything there is to know about Ohio State. I know they can help me get to the NFL, and also do great things for me once my football career is over. They have a very large alumni base and I know they take care of their people really well. I speak to (safeties coach) Paul Haynes all the time and we have a great relationship. I'm very comfortable with the entire coaching staff at Ohio State, and I have no doubt I could be successful up there.

Joyner has researched this decision carefully and has a specific idea of what he's looking for in a school.

"If I feel one certain school can help me be successful with the rest of my life, and not just football, then that's where I'm going to go," he stressed. "I'm looking at this decision for what it will do for me for the next 50 years, not just the next 4 years. If I don't make it at the next level I want to know which sets me up for success outside of football. I want to get a decent job, so I'm going to need a great education. I want to get into journalism, maybe take your job some day. Seriously, I will wait until the end of the season and make my decision based upon what school has the most to offer me."


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