Evaluating Lakeland 2023 DB Dontay Joyner

Dontay Joyner is a player who earned a spot on our All BCP First Team Defense following the 2021 season. As a junior, the versatile defensive back accumulated 79 total tackles, 7 interceptions, and 7 tackles for loss for the Dreadnaughts. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown. On special teams, he blocked one field goal and one punt. His speed, instincts, ball-skills, and physicality pop out when you watch his film.

Joyner makes plays all over the field, and he has no hesitation when it comes time to get downhill into run-support and get his hands dirty. The first play on his junior highlight is a straightforward pick-six. He capitalizes on a bad throw and then shows off his speed. He has plenty. Play two shows him making a strong effort to break on a throw to the sideline, he makes the interception but it looks like his right foot was out.

Next, he shows off his speed on special teams when he takes advantage of some lazy personal protectors and easily blocks a punt. Special teams’ highlights are vital. Great players make game-changing plays on special teams, so if you want to play football at the next level, you should be begging your coaches to let you showcase your abilities on special teams. Following that, Joyner reads a designed quarterback run and then flies downhill from about 12 yards deep to cut down the runner for a very minimal gain. The highlight then jumps to a couple more interceptions before showing him block a Lake Gibson field goal attempt. He showcased all of this in 58 seconds of his junior highlight against strong teams like Clearwater, Lake Wales, Lake Gibson, Apopka, and Lakewood.

Take mental notes when we post these evaluations. I just highlighted a key point. Joyner’s film gets straight to business and is trimmed nicely. More players have to learn to cut the fluff out of their highlights. You don’t need pictures or slides with your statistics if the film is good enough. Recruiters want to see action. They want to see video proof backing up stats and post-season awards. Keep in mind how much film they receive on a daily basis. If every prospect they try to evaluate has 30 seconds of wasted time in their highlight, it is going to add up quickly and the schedules of college coaches don’t allow for wasted time.

Back to Joyner. He is currently listed at 5 feet 11 inches tall and 165 pounds. It’s no knock on him and no fault of his own, but this is the only reason it isn’t raining Power 5 offers on him. He picked up an offer from Arkansas State earlier this week. He already held offers from South Florida, Toledo, Coastal Carolina, FIU, EKU, UIW, and Rhode Island. I guarantee that Power 5 offers will come through. Schools will realize that players with better measurable from other states just can’t play the game the way Joyner does.

Whether that first P5 offer comes later this spring or during summer camp season, it will come. Looking at his recent Hudl activity will also give you a look at Joyner playing a lot of Corner during spring practices. Once again, he is a versatile player that can excel at any position in the secondary. With players like Joyner leading the way, I sense a big season coming up for the Dreadnaughts.

Lakeland 2023 DB Dontay Joyner’s Junior Highlights and his Twitter