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Crootin’ Notebook: Dakereon Joyner focused on flipping Xavier Thomas

The latest South Carolina Gamecocks recruiting updates, including notes on Will Muschamp’s most recent commit.

NCAA Football: Clemson at South Carolina Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

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It was an emotional Father’s Day for Dakereon Joyner, who committed to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Sunday in honor of his late dad. Damond Alton Joyner passed away after suffering a heart attack in his sleep in 2009.

“Y’all got me crying on camera, man,” Joyner said to the mob of reporters questioning him just moments after his announcement.

“Good tears. It’s good tears,” replied a faceless reporter.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking out the commitment ceremony and following interview. Fort Dorchester did an excellent job hosting, and you will get a good sense of the type of young man Joyner is and the commitment he will bring to the Gamecocks football team.

While Joyner is not the only touted prospect to come out of Fort Dorchester High School in North Charleston (some of you may recognize the names Carlos Dunlap and Robert Quinn), he will be one of the first to stay in-state — Dunlap played for Florida and Quinn went to North Carolina.

Next on Joyner’s agenda is to convince two other South Carolina natives to do the same. “One, I’m going to get Xavier Thomas to flip,” he told The State on Sunday. “I’m going to try to get him, Stephon Wynn, just everybody on board.”

Thomas, who committed to that team in the upstate earlier this spring, and Wynn are teammates at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Both defensive ends transferred to IMG following their sophomore year at their respective high schools in South Carolina.

While getting Thomas to flip may be a long shot, landing Wynn is a very real possibility. His recruitment is thought to be a two-horse race right now between Georgia and USC. He’s ranked by 247Sports Composite as the No. 5 strong-side defensive end in the nation.

Regardless of the outcome, it is always nice to hear that commits are eager to hop on the recruiting trail.

Other notes from Sunday

Incoming freshman wide receiver OrTre Smith, who played for nearby Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, was in attendance for Joyner’s announcement on Sunday. Also a four-star recruit, Smith was the No. 1 prospect in South Carolina for the 2017 cycle.

Will Muschamp’s confidence in players continues to be a determining factor for recruits. Joyner mentioned several times that Muschamp’s unwavering belief that he could excel as a quarterback set South Carolina apart from the rest of the pack.

Commit Watch

Defensive tackle Dantrell Barkley of Independence C.C. is announcing Tuesday afternoon, and it is shaping up to be another NC State - South Carolina showdown.

Barkley said the Gamecocks were his leader when he camped in Columbia earlier in June. Landing the 6-4, 285 pound tackle would be another big step towards rebuilding a defensive line that struggled mightily in 2016.