Lamarcus Joyner will be back prowling the Florida State secondary again in 2013. The talented junior safety from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas has opted to return to Florida State for his senior season.
Joyner was considering his options after the Orange Bowl, he had formed an especially close relationship with former defensive coordinator Mark Stoops who left before the Seminoles 31-10 win over NIU to assume the head coaching job at Kentucky.
Some thought Stoops departure could push Joyner to turn pro early.
But Joyner mentioned that Florida State's new defensive coordinator, former Alabama DB's coach Jeremy Pruitt, had already reached out to him in weeks leading up to the Orange Bowl. Pruitt comes from Nick Saban's staff and has turned out some of the top defensive backs in the past few NFL drafts. After three years under the coach who mentored Ed Reed and Sean Taylor, Joyner will have the benefit of a year of coaching from Pruitt, who was responsible for players like Mark Barron (7th overall in the 2012 Draft) at Alabama.
Apparently the chance to improve under Pruitt and potentially raise his draft stock- and the desire to finish what he started at Florida State- was too good to pass up.
“Coach Fisher and I aren’t finished with what we started here,” Joyner said via Florida State press release. “He said from day one I was going to be one of those guys that was going to help turn this program around. We’ve started down the right path so far but we’re still not finished. This wasn’t a decision I could make just for myself but for my family in order to help them down the road, which is why I’m going to stay at Florida State for my last season.”
Added Jimbo Fisher: “I’m very excited that Lamarcus is going to return for his senior season. He’s such a great leader and ambassador for our university and football program. He still has some goals that he wants to accomplish, and I can’t express how happy I am that he’s going to be here at Florida State for another year. He’s one of the guys that has been a major part of our success the last three years. For him to want to stay and continue to help build this program, really shows his character as a person.”
Joyner was a first-team all-ACC selection this past season and is notorious for big kickoff returns and brutal collisions with receivers and backs down the sidelines and up the seams of the Florida State defense.
With Joyner back, Florida State should have a talented tandem of safeties patrolling the back end of their defense. Terrence Brooks also returns and aside from losing Xavier Rhodes a year early, the entire secondary could be a strong suit for what looks to be a very good FSU defense in 2013.
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