The recruiting process can often be a confusing thing for players. Just ask Haines City (Fla.) defensive back Tony Joiner.
“It’s been strange,” he said. “I was getting all this love from the Florida schools, and now they seem to be shying away. I’m not real sure why. I think it’s because I’m playing linebacker this season instead of free safety, and maybe they’re wondering if I can be a safety. But in our defense, the outside linebacker position is like a strong safety. Nothing’s really changed with me. I’m just lining up in a new spot.
“Florida’s calling a lot, but I still don’t have an offer from them. Coach Locksley said they wanted some more highlight film on me. He said once he got that for coach Zook and their DB coach, they may offer. But Florida State has shied away. I’m not hearing that much from Miami. I don’t really get it.”
Joiner (6-2, 190, 4.52) still has a solid group of offers to his credit, including LSU, Ole Miss, N.C. State, Alabama, Pittsburgh, Purdue, North Carolina, Auburn and Georgia.
“I’m waiting as long as I can to see what the Florida schools do because I’d like to play in my home state,” he said. “But if push comes to shove, I don’t mind looking at those other schools. There’s some great football schools in there – LSU, Georgia, Auburn.”
He said LSU, Ole Miss and N.C. State have put on the biggest push of late.
“Coach Woods at Ole Miss has really impressed me,” Joiner said. “I’m pretty fond of him. He says I’d really fit in well with their defense and get a chance to play early
“I like coach Demarest as N.C. State, too. He’s high energy. I could really see myself playing for someone like him.”
Joiner will wait until his season is complete to take his official visits. He’s taken two unofficial visits to Florida State (Miami, Georgia Tech games) and plans to visit Florida for its game against the Seminoles.
Through seven games this season, Joiner has recorded 50 tackles, four sacks and two pass break-ups. As a junior playing safety, he had 110 tackles and seven interceptions.
Academically, he maintains a 3.0 GPA and has scored an 820 on the SAT.