One of the most outstanding young men of all of the thousands of athletes we have covered is Austin Joyner of Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington. His speed and skill on the field in the stuff of legend. His charity and church involvement in his community and his school work is as well. For those reasons he was named the Washington Gatorade Player of the Year for 2014; a huge honor. We caught up to Austin to talk to him about that and his recent loosening of his firm pledge to play for WSU next season.
Austin says, “Of course the award was great and it was a huge honor.”
For those in the know and who realize he and his team mates and community have lived through a mass school shooting in these past few months it seems almost surreal to talk about awards and football. We wondered how he and the players are doing and if they can comprehend what they have been through.
“It was crazy. How could anyone ever expect that,” said a reflective Joyner. “The support came from everywhere and everyone here was affected by what happened.”
It was hard to move ahead but the boys and the community did and they made it as deep into the playoffs as have in may years. In the Dome they were beaten one step shay of the State Title game by Bellevue 20-10 giving the Wolverines the closest game they have had in years. There was no way they could feel great about loosing but they now realize it was a great season.
“At the time we were disappointed you know. We wanted to win. Now we can look back and see how amazing the season really was.”
On the recruiting front Joyner is perhaps the gem of the 2015 Class out of Washington. His long standing verbal pledge to WSU was opened up a bit as he now does not know who he will be playing for as a defensive back.
“I wanted to play for Coach Breske (Mike) and now he is gone so what I need to do is see who replaces him and reassess. I am not saying I am not going to WSU but I am looking at two other options now too.”
Those two other options he says as the UW and OSU. He will head to UW this wekend for an official visit and see what that looks like and reconsider the Dawgs.
Boise State is the other school he is focusing on as well.
Austin stressed he is open and monitoring his recruitment. It is all he will work on now plus his school work until he makes a final decision.
We think almost any school will come to look again. He had offers from Oregon State, Colorado, Arkansas, and others as well and we have to wonder if new Nebraska coach Mike Riley might come calling too. Things can happen fast for a top prospect like Austin Joyner and we wish him all the best. Taking a good look around makes a lot of sense right now as the collegiate landscape can change very fast when Coaches are released and hired.
One thing is for sure – this superbly gifted young man left us all with great memories and a lot to admire about the talent and strength our NW recruits embody!