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Joyner headlines impressive senior class of quarterbacks

ColumbiaFort Dorchester’s Dakereon Joyner headlines a strong class of senior quarterbacks in the Palmetto State this season.

Joyner (6-2, 207) is a verbal commitment to the University of South Carolina, making the decision official in June. He is one of several seniors that play quarterback this fall that will get college opportunities, though some of the quarterbacks are likely to play another position at the next level.

In fact, Joyner was recruited by some schools as an athlete with no guarantee of sticking at quarterback. Those schools fell out of favor with Joyner, who only entertained thoughts of being a quarterback. His final decision came down to South Carolina and North Carolina State.

“I will play quarterback in college, that’s what I am,” Joyner has said in the past. “I’ve only been a quarterback since I started playing. I am a quarterback.”

Joyner enters his senior season with some lofty achievements on the horizon. In the last two years, Joyner has passed for 6,840 yards and will likely reach 10,000 career passing yards this season. He also has rushed for more than 2,000 yards and has accounted for 104 total touchdowns in the last two seasons.

Joyner expressed relief and a calm assurance that recruiting is over as he prepares to lead his team to another state title opportunity. The Patriots finished 15-0 and won the Class AAAA title in 2015 and lost to Dutch Fork in the Class AAAAA semi-finals last season.

“I’m glad it’s over and I can focus on the season and balling with my boys,” Joyner said at the annual High School Sports Report’s media day in July. “It’s a relief. I’m ready to get the season started and try to win another championship.”

Two of the state’s top athletes play quarterback for their respective high school teams but are likely headed to new positions in college.

South Pointe’s Derion Kendrick, considered by several recruiting services as the state’s top overall prospects, will move from quarterback to receiver when he heads to Clemson next fall. Kendrick (6-2, 195) committed to Clemson during the spring.

His quarterbacking numbers are not too shabby. Last year, Kendrick passed for 2,625 yards and 29 touchdowns while adding 500 yards rushing and five scores. He and his South Pointe teammates are seeking a fourth consecutive state championship this fall.

Cane Bay’s R.J. Roderick (6-1, 215) is another athlete excelling at quarterback. In Cane Bay’s option-based offense, Roderick rushed for more than 1,800 yards last season. The South Carolina verbal commitment will play safety in college, though some colleges recruited him as a running back. Option schools such as Georgia Tech and Air Force recruited Roderick as a quarterback.

“I will play anywhere I am asked to play,” Roderick said. “I feel like safety is a good spot for me. I like contact and I play physical.”

Another option quarterback of great success is Bishop England’s Leo Albano (6-2, 190). Albano, also a solid baseball prospect, is outstanding as a runner and has rushed for 2,378 yards in three seasons. He has added 2,324 passing yards as well. An outstanding student, Albano is being recruited by several Ivy League schools.

Tradd Beatty of Ben Lippen made his verbal commitment to Temple over the summer. The 6-5, 205-pounder played at Chapin High School last season before transferring to Ben Lippen in January. He accounted for nearly 2,000 total yards in offense as a junior.

Oceanside Collegiate is a second-year program down in the Lowcountry, going 0-8 in their initial season. However, the transfer of quarterback Sam Hartman will aid greatly in the Landsharks’ efforts to win in year two.

Hartman came to Oceanside after two outstanding seasons at Davidson Day in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 6-1, 180-pounder threw for more than 6,000 yards and 69 touchdowns in the last two years. He came to Oceanside with Davidson Day head coach Chad Grier.

Hartman made his verbal commitment to Wake Forest in the summer of 2015 and has stuck with the commitment since day one. He will enroll at Wake Forest in January.

“That’s where I want to be, the best school for me,” Hartman said. “I’m totally committed to being a Demon Deacon and I can’t wait to get there.”

Ben Batson was a two-year starter at Daniel High before transferring to Dorman for his senior season. Batson (6-2, 200) has a strong arm and good accuracy.

Though considered too small for Division I, Chapman’s Colton Bailey (5-9, 165) will put his numbers up against any quarterback in the state. While leading the Panthers to the AAA state title last season, Bailey passed for 3,687 yards and 39 touchdowns while rushing for 713 yards and 14 more scores.

“My personal numbers are not as important to me as winning that first state championship in school history,” Bailey said. “My next big goal is to repeat and be the first team in school history to win two in a row. The team goals always rank higher than my personal goals.”

Another under-sized quarterback with great talent is Baptist Hill’s Corey Fields. The 6-0, 185-pounder threw for 3,315 yards and 35 touchdowns in last year’s 9-3 season. He is closing in on 6,000 career passing yards. Fields also is a solid basketball prospect and has an offer to play both sports at Newberry College.

“I love both sports and I love to compete and try to be the best at whatever I do,” Fields said. “Playing two sports in college would be hard but I would like to give it a try.”

South Aiken’s Cody Boynton (6-3, 195) threw for 2,484 yards and 30 touchdowns while leading his team to their best season ever.

Gaffney slinger Tyshun Surratt (6-3, 180) tallied 2,307 yards passing and has received Division I college interest this summer.

Colleton County’s Craig Grant (6-3, 225) is a developing quarterback as a passer but has a cannon arm. His college position could be on defense but some schools like his growing potential as a quarterback.

Hartsville’s A.J. Joyner, Myrtle Beach’s Lawson Cribb and Westside’s Hunter Marchbanks are three more senior quarterbacks with college potential in the 2017 class.

Cribb (6-2, 190) threw for 2,392 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior while Joyner (6-2, 180) plays in an option offense but has a strong passing arm while also playing in the secondary.

Marchbanks will be a new starter at Westside.


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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