Varsity Preps

Across the Deep South, V

Across the Deep South” is a series spotlighting prospects from Texas to Virginia. Varsity Preps provides a snapshot of each player’s recruiting picture. As always, highlight tapes are hyperlinked on the prospect’s name (if available).

FLORIDA

— 2015 WR Lenwood Joyner (5’6, 150, 4.4/40) of Miami Central High in Florida had a standout performance at the IMG national championship 7-on-7 tournament for the Florida Fire. “I had a good tournament, had three touchdowns.”

He feels he’s benefited  from the extra reps. “I think I’m running better, sharper routes because of the extra practice. There was a lot of elite talent there, and going against the best made me better.”

This season, Joyner will return punts as well as filling the slot receiver role for the defending state champs. He spoke about his expectations this year and how his team is preparing for their title defense. “We had a great season last year, but I’m expecting to go undefeated and possibly be considered for a national title. We have a ton of talent returning, so I feel like we’re set up to win another championship,” he said. “We’re practicing a lot harder and we’re more focused, but if we don’t play as a team, it doesn’t matter who or what is in front of us. But yes, the workouts are absolutely more intense than last year.”

Over the offseason, Joyner camped at Miami and USF. He talked about his experiences. “I had a good experience at the USF camp. RB coach Telly Lockette is my cousin, so I have a connection there. I caught a lot of passes and turned some heads.

Miami camp was really good. I made some amazing catches and a couple of the Canes coaches asked my teammate, Da’Vante Phillips, who I was. Wide receivers coach Brennan Carroll talked with me for a few minutes, told me he liked what I was doing.”

Joyner has yet to receive any college interest, but stated he’s wanting to hear from West Virginia. “I like what they’re doing, but really any college that’s willing to give me an opportunity to continue my career in the sport I love, I’ll definitely have interest in.”

GEORGIA

— 2016 OL Matthew Castner (6’1, 253) of Blessed Trinity Catholic in Georgia has already attended combines hosted by National UnderclassmenFootball University, and Team USA. He won the OL MVP at the NUC combine he was able to attend. In addition, he’s been invited to camp by South Alabama, Georgia’s Dawg Nite, Jacksonville St., West Georgia, and Wingate.

Castner was excited to receive the invitation from UGA; he’ll camp there later this week. He mentioned he just wants to enjoy the experience. “I don’t have any expectations of Dawg Nite. I want to enjoy the camp and just play football.”

Fairliegh Dickinson, Wingate, Jacksonville St., and South Alabama are sending him recruiting information, but there might already be a favorite. “I would love to attend the University of Florida, I’ve been a Gators fan since I was little,” he said. “But I’m open to any program, I just want to play college football.”

The young lineman shared his goals for the rest of 2013. “I want to make all-county this year and continue to increase all my strength numbers.”

During this offseason, Castner is developing the mindset to be a successful football player.  “I’ve really worked hard on improving my work ethic and mental toughness.”

Casnter told Varsity Preps he’s looking to be a part of a competitive program, and that school location and early playing time will not figure into his college choice.

— Michael Bradley

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