The Daily Gamecock

'Expectations have not changed': Dakereon Joyner gears up for important final season

<p>FILE—Redshirt senior wide receiver Dakereon Joyner runs the ball while playing quarterback during a game against UGA on Oct. 12, 2019. The Gamecocks won 20-17.</p>
FILE—Redshirt senior wide receiver Dakereon Joyner runs the ball while playing quarterback during a game against UGA on Oct. 12, 2019. The Gamecocks won 20-17.

After ending the 2021 season as the Duke’s Mayo Bowl Most Valuable Player, redshirt senior wide receiver Dakereon Joyner is hoping to carry positive momentum into his final season at South Carolina. 

Joyner was one of three Gamecock football players personally selected by head coach Shane Beamer to attend the 2022 SEC Media Days on Tuesday, and he said he has goals for himself and the team ahead of the 2022 season.

"Expectations have not changed," Joyner said. "I think its our goal for us to be the most consistent team in the SEC right now."

The North Charleston native ended last season on a high note, catching 24 passes for 221 yards while also completing 100% of his passes as a quarterback. Joyner said finishing well was a much-needed boost of confidence to drive him into next season.

"It was really good for my confidence," Joyner said. "I'm very grateful for that experience."

Joyner, who chose to return to South Carolina after graduation, hopes to continue to show his versatility on the football field as both a quarterback and wide receiver, adding depth and talent to both positions.

While he hasn't played quarterback consistently during his time with the Gamecocks, Joyner has stepped up to the plate when needed the most. During last year's Duke's Mayo Bowl, he started under center and threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Jaheim Bell in the opening quarter. 

“The goal for us is for me to play both positions evenly cause I've shown I can play both at a high level and higher quality of game,” Joyner said. “My goal is to just go in and be available to every road that I'm asked to be, be acceptable to it and go perform at a high level.”  

During his press conference, Beamer said Joyner is an important member of the team that brings a lot of diverse skills. 

“Dakereon, just so valuable to our program in so many ways,” Beamer said. “As a quarterback, as a wide receiver, on special teams, just so unselfish, was the MVP of our bowl game as many of you know. What a great day for him — showed that he can play quarterback in that game.”

In his final year at South Carolina, Joyner will play an important role as a veteran player in helping the Gamecocks build off last year's successes. 

"You got to remind guys what we are capable of because we were only scheduled to win two games," Joyner said.  "People didn't expect us to do anything, but you know, sky's the limit for us this year and we just got to continue, the older guys lead, be the face of this program and allow the young guys to come behind us."