Junior to Watch: Tony Joiner
School: Haines City, Fla.
Position: Safety/Wide Receiver
Size and speed: Joiner is 6-foot-2, weighs 190 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds.
Statistics: As a junior, he recorded more than 100 tackles and seven interceptions.
Honors: Was selected to the all-area team as a junior.
Favorite Schools: Miami, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, USC, Penn State.
Skinny: Haines City coach Pat Harrington says he’s got one of the Sunshine State’s top players on his roster, although there are times when members of his squad get overlooked for more high-profile programs.
“People kind of overlook Haines City sometimes. A kid like Tony Joiner can really help bring some of that recognition back,” Harrington said. “They will be beating down the doors this season.”
So what makes the 6-2, 190-pound Joiner so special?
“Well, he’s an all-around athlete for starters. He’s one of those kids who, when one sport ends, he jumps right into the next one and never misses a beat,” Harrington said. “From a football standpoint, it’s his aggressiveness and field presence. He’s got that ability to always seem to know what’s happening before the ball is snapped. His instincts and ability to break on the ball are really impressive.
“He’s physical, too. He’ll step up and hit people. He loves to come up and try to knock somebody out. I have to remind him sometimes to think ‘pass first’ because he loves to get behind the line of scrimmage and make things happen.”
Joiner is receiving early interest from coast to coast. Among those in the early mix include Miami, Florida, Florida State, Central Florida, South Florida, Michigan, Penn State, Oklahoma, Texas, USC and UCLA.
“He’s very excited about Miami’s interest,” Harrington said. “He likes them a lot.”
According to Harrington, Joiner is also a solid student who should have no problem qualifying.
“He carries a 3.0 GPA and scored an 820 on his first SAT without really preparing too much for it,” he said. “He’s going to take it again, and I think he’ll do real well.”
Joiner plans to attend the Nike combine at Florida this spring, but has not yet made his summer camp plans.