Possible Pitt Recruit, Researching Schools

Looking for a defensive back that is aggressive and smart? If so, then Haines City (Fla.) Tony Joiner is the man for the job. Click here to read about the 6-foot-0 and 175 pound standout's outstanding spring performance and his recruitment.

"My style of play is a lot like Sean Taylor's of the Miami Hurricanes," Tony Joiner, who recorded 100 tackles and 7 interceptions as a junior, said. ‘Like him, I am very aggressive. I can defend the pass and the run. I have a huge mean streak and that's why I love to play defense."

Joiner, who already has received offers, from North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Ole Miss, didn't disappoint any coaches or fans at his team's spring jamboree in May against Auburndale.

"I had one interception, four pass break ups and four tackles on defense," he said. "On offense I had several nice runs. My longest run was 35 yards."

What makes his performance even more impressive is that he played the third and fourth quarters with a pulled groin muscle.

Right now Joiner has a top five of Miami, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma and North Carolina State.

"All three of the Florida schools said they were going to recruit me," he said. "Coach Werner of Miami likes me and he said the defensive back coach has seen film on me and says that I'm one of their top five players that they are recruiting for safety. Miami wants me to come to their camp.

Florida said they liked watching me play. Coach Locks was at my spring game, which impressed me.

Coach Odell Haggins of Florida State told me that he was going to be recruiting me very hard. One of my coaches personally knows him very well."

Joiner carries a 3.2 grade point average in honors classes and he uses his intelligence to his advantage on the field.

"My coach wants a quarterback that takes charge," he said. He wants one that's uses his head and one that one that can read defenses. On defensive playing safety is like the quarterback of defense.

Joiner is doing a lot of research in order to find the school that fits him best.

"I'm doing a lot of research," he said. "I'm looking at the core academics. I am also looking to see who would be in front of me at safety. Like most freshman I would like to play right away but I know there is a chance that I might no be able to the first time around. I am looking for friendly coaches and a family atmosphere."

The all-conference safety will attend the Miami camp by himself and the Florida State football camp with teammate and good friend Johnny Williams, who turned heads at the Florida Nike camp.

"I want to camp at Miami and show the coaches what I can do,' he said. "I'm also going to the Florida State camp with Johnny."

Dave Peters

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