Patriots’ Joyner sets date for college decision

Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad and quarterback Dakereon Joyner celebrate after winning a state championship in 2015. Led by Joyner, Fort Dorchester has five players on the 2017 preseason All-Lowcountry team. (File/Staff)

Dakereon Joyner has been doing a lot of thinking about his future this week.

Fort Dorchester High School’s star quarterback, a rising junior, announced earlier this week that he plans to graduate early from high school in order to enroll in college in January of 2018.

Now, Joyner has decided the date on which he plans to announce his college decision.

“I will be making my college decision on June 18th, 2017!” Joyner wrote in a Twitter post. “Father’s Day, dedicated to my dad. Rest in Peace.”

Joyner’s father died of a heart attack in his sleep in 2009, when Dakereon was nine years old.

Joyner, 6-2 and 195 pounds, led Fort Dorchester to a 15-0 record and a state title last season, and has two more seasons to play with the Patriots.

Joyner has offers from Clemson and South Carolina, as well as other schools including North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn.

Last season, he passed for 3,202 yards and 33 touchdowns and rushed for 1,059 yards and 19 TDs. He was named MaxPreps’ national sophomore of the year and first-team All-Lowcountry by The Post and Courier.

Joyner has visited both Clemson and South Carolina, where former coach Steve Spurrier offered him a scholarship when Joyner was just 13 years old. New coach Will Muschamp has reaffirmed that offer to Joyner as a quarterback.

“I kind of keep an even keel with all my schools and really enjoy the process,” Joyner said after a visit to Clemson last fall. “I like Clemson, not just because of the football, but the school in general. The engineering program, that’s what I want to study in college.

“USC, I like the coaches and how they treat the players. I like the fans and it’s only an hour from my hometown. Carolina is just a great place.”

Muschamp’s hiring might have boosted USC’s standing with Joyner.

“Before, Steve Spurrier wanted me to play receiver or defensive back,” Joyner told The State in February. “But now that I have the opportunity to play quarterback, it really changes a lot.”

One key factor for Joyner will be his chances to play as a freshman. That is why he’s planning to graduate a semester early from Fort Dorchester and enroll in college in January of 2018, in time for spring practice.

“My goal is to play in college as a true freshman,” he said. “This will give me a head start at whatever college I choose to go to.”