In-state 4-star prospect has WSU in top three

HERE'S A SWITCH. Although he's a 4-star rated running back, Marysville's Austin Joyner has decided he will play defense at the next level. The 5-11, 191-pounder, who was in Pullman last weekend for the Cougs' junior day, said he let college programs this week know of his penchant for D and he now has three schools on top of his leaderboard. One of those schools, he tells CF.C, is Washington State.

Joyner, out of Marysville-Pilchuk High, rushed for over 1,500 yards and 21 touchdowns last season (he rushed for over 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore.)

He holds offers from WSU, Washington, Arkansas, Oregon State, Colorado and others. And most high school offensive standouts firmly want to play on that side of the ball in college.

But Joyner is not your average 4-star recruit. Playing on offense at the next level doesn't interest him.

"I've just been thinking about it a lot lately and it seems more logical for me to go the defensive back route," Joyner said. "This year I played cornerback (for Marysville-Pilchuk) and I enjoyed it. I didn't play as much on defense because my team needed me on offense. That's what I'm going to play in college, though."

Joyner said he spent Wednesday contacting the schools that have offered him to let them know of his decision.

"Most of them still want me," Joyner said in a text. "Oregon State, Wazzu and Colorado are my top schools right now."

As of press time, it wasn't clear from Joyner's texts which schools he had spoken with and which ones might not be as enamored with his desire to play defense.

AS FOR WASHINGTON STATE, Joyner said his high interest in WSU was simple.

"I decided that I wanted to play corner and WSU was the first school that offered me on defense," Joyner said. "I've been talking with them since I was a freshman and they've always showed a lot of interest in me."

Joyner, who has an older brother who will graduate from Washington State this spring, said he's been to Pullman several times.

"It went really good," Joyner said of this past weekend's junior day event. "For most people, they might not like the small-town atmosphere, but I really enjoy it. I like hunting and fishing a lot. That kind of place wouldn't be bad for me. What I like about WSU is that it's all college students.

"It's big on college life, which I really enjoy."

JOYNER ALSO SAID he and WSU head man Mike Leach are on the same page.

"I sat down with him and we spoke for about 30 minutes," Joyner said. "He was just telling me how they need me in the program. I told him about how I wanted to play defense instead of running back and he said he was perfectly fine with that."

Since Joyner has his eye on cornerback, he also spent some quality time with WSU defensive coordinator Mike Breske.

"I've been talking with 'Coach B' since I was in the ninth grade," Joyner said. "We have a good relationship going and I like that they've been on me for a while."

Joyner added that he has no other unofficial visits set right now, but he is hoping to visit some college campuses in the near future. The one-time Washington commit, who decommitted after Steve Sarkisian left for USC, added that he is in no rush to make a college decision.

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  • Washington State has extended a scholarship offer to another in-stater: class of 2016 Gonzaga Prep defensive end Evan Weaver, according to Northwest Elite Index's Ryland Spencer. WSU is the first offer for the Spokane product.

  • Per his twitter account, Washington State has extended a scholarship offer to Temecula, Calif., offensive lineman Mason Walt. The 6-6, 265-pounder also has offers from Boise State, Nevada, Colorado State and Iowa State.

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