Athleticism and versatility translate at any position in college football. One player who shows that as well as anyone is Austin Joyner.
The 4-star athlete is projected as an all-purpose back with the ability to play running back and cornerback. According to Adam Gorney of Rivals.com, he ultimately made the decision to play on defense and committed to do so with Washington State:
Austin Joyner has committed to #Wazzu to play corner— Adam Gorney (@adamgorney) April 19, 2014
Joyner's 5'11", 186-pound frame makes him perfect for either position, but the Cougars clearly have an idea in mind for the class of 2015 recruit.
Even after posting 2,038 rushing yards and 24 total touchdowns at Marysville Pilchuck in Marysville, Wash., Joyner clearly decided to stay close to home as a defensive back.
Braulio Perez of Fox Sports notes the importance of the commitment for the Cougars:
#WashingtonState landed a big commit in four-star Marysville, Wash., athlete Austin Joyner. Will play CB for the Cougs in 2015— Braulio Perez (@BraulioEPerez) April 19, 2014
David Krueger of The Herald reports that Being in the Pac-12 was one of the main reasons for Joyner announcing his commitment to Washington State:
I already saw all my options and had all the information I needed. No point in waiting. I just feel like I have a chance to play early there. And it's in the PAC-12, which is kind of what drove me away from Boise State.
I wouldn't go there if it was for offense. They don't run the ball enough. ... It's a good location. I kind of wanted to stay home and participate in stuff around here. I'm an outdoors person. I don't like the big city. I like places where I can go fishing and hunting.
Two of his biggest strengths following his junior season are his feet and explosiveness.
What might need improvement during his final campaign in high school is his change of direction, a crucial component for any cornerback. The growth for Joyner will be much steeper in his senior year now that he knows he's playing defensive back with the Cougars.
Competing in the Pac-12 against the likes of Oregon and some of the fastest uptempo offenses in the country, Joyner will need to progress rapidly to earn the starting role when he comes to Washington State.
If he can grow into a great corner for the Cougars, his commitment could help the program continue to progress toward being competitive in the conference. With Mike Leach slowly returning Washington State to relevance, Joyner might be another crucial component to making that happen.
Recruit rating and information courtesy of 247Sports.com.