South Carolina football: Gamecocks getting creative at quarterback

South Carolina wide receiver Dakereon Joyner (5).Gw43391
South Carolina wide receiver Dakereon Joyner (5).Gw43391 /

The South Carolina football team took a hit at the quarterback position this weekend with projected starter Luke Doty going down with a foot injury. The length of that recovery time is still unknown, but the Gamecock coaching staff is hopeful he’ll be back by game one. In the meantime, Jason Brown and Colten Gauthier will battle it out for the QB2 role, and a possible opening day start.

Brown and Gauthier aren’t the only players taking reps under center, though.

In a weekend press conference, coach Shane Beamer alluded to wideout Dakereon Joyner having a package at quarterback this Fall. It’s not unknown territory for Joyner, who is a former four-star high school signal caller, and has flipped between WR and QB throughout his time in Columbia.

Here’s what Beamer had to say about his not-so-secret weapon.

"“There is no reason to hide it. Let’s (give teams) something to work for. He may play some quarterback in the first game. Eastern Illinois, East Carolina, Georgia, whoever we play before Luke gets back.”"

While Joyner has taken a few snaps at quarterback, his focus is still on the wide receiver position, where he looks to be one of the Gamecocks’ top play makers.

"“Don’t get me wrong, DK is spending 97 percent of his time with receivers. It’s not like he’s in the quarterback meetings… With injuries a part of the game I think we’d be pretty dumb as coaches if we weren’t repping there a little bit.”"

Joyner was in the wideout rotation full-time for the first season in 2020. He hauled in seven receptions for 55 yards, while rushing for for another 61 yards on the ground. Prior to that, he was called upon to replace Ryan Hilinski in 2019 following a midseason injury. He helped secure an upset of No. 3 Georgia in Athens that season, while also making appearances at both receiver and quarterback throughout the year.

Should Joyner start taking more than a few snaps a game under center, the Gamecocks’ quarterback situation may be a little worse than expected, but like coach Beamer said, injuries happen and it’s best to utilize everything you have on the roster. This should at least allow South Carolina to be prepared should things extend further than anticipated with Doty’s recovery.

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