March 21, 2013

Lamarcus Joyner happy to be back at cornerback

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Senior Lamrcus Joyner said he wouldn't define his role this season as cornerback or safety, he's just a defensive back.

The All-ACC safety will line up at corner, nickel back and some safety as well this spring for Florida State. Joyner said he came back to finish his degree and help show versatility for NFL teams.

While he enjoys football period, Joyner couldn't help but smile when asked about the one-on-one competitiveness of playing cornerback, where he lined up as a freshman.

"At cornerback my philosophy is no man wants to fight with a man that's willing to fight for 60 minutes, the whole game," Joyner said. "It's fun because you get to run all day, and I love running. I love playing physical and its like testing another man's manhood, so it's either me or you."

So far this spring Joyner claims it's been all him, and if a wideout does catch a ball it's because he cheated. Not because he got beat.

"He is so competitive, golly," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Every time somebody catches a ball 'Coach he pushed!' He never gets beat. That's a great thing. I love it, he's the ultimate competitor."

Joyner mulled a jump to the NFL after the Orange Bowl, but said he felt he still had things left to accomplish in Tallahassee.

He discussed the decision with Fisher and new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, and said he felt like if he returned that playing corner was something he wanted to have the opportunity to do.

"It's really an experiment," Pruitt said. "He wanted to do it. It was as much his idea as it was anybody's. Probably he feels that he's got a chance to market himself a little better. He's been a good player at the safety position, but he was a high school corner and him choosing to come back for his senior year, showing he can play out there on the perimeter plus at safety, because in the NFL they only carry [53] players or however many it is I don't even know, but it's not a lot. So the more positions you can play the more value you create for yourself."

Joyner didn't want to just show scouts he could play safety and corner, but he also is set to graduate from FSU in December. So showing playing corner this upcoming season wasn't the only factor that lead to his return.

"All my life people are always going to say 'You're undersized.' Whether I'm at safety or cornerback," Joyner said. "So I knew the odds were against me from the beginning. So that wasn't the reason I came back. I felt unaccomplished.

"I didn't get a degree, I came to college to accomplish more than just going to the NFL. I just believe that going back to cornerback that yeah it may prep me for the next level by showing my versatility. So yeah it'll probably enhance my chances, it was a lot of things that played into that, not just feedback."

The decision isn't just the best one for Joyner personally he says, but it's also what's best for the team moving forward.

"It also opened up room for young players like Karlos Williams to get on the field and have an impact for this team," Joyner said. "It was best for the team."

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