South Carolina QB finds inspiration from Deshaun Watson

South Carolina QB finds inspiration from Deshaun Watson
Redshirt freshman quarterback Dakereon Joyner carries the ball during the Garnet & Black Spring Game on April 6, 2019. (Source: Ryan Bethea/

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - In difficult moments lean on those you trust.

One Carolina quarterback turns toward a rival he admires. Redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner connects with Tigers legend Deshaun Watson from time to time.

Since the eighth grade, Joyner has looked up to Watson. A mix of talent and fate paired the two together. A mutual connection through Elite 11 linked Joyner to Watson.

“That kind of helped us and our story as well,” Joyner said. “A lot of mentors at Elite 11 kind of compared our stories in terms of dealing with adversity coming into life.”

The duo bonded over their backgrounds. Joyner lost his dad at a young age. Watson experienced poverty. His mother battled cancer and survived. Plus, Watson has overcome multiple knee injuries.

Joyner respects how Watson's handled life moments. He uses that as a source of inspiration, along with other nuggets of wisdom shared when the two connect.

However, Watson isn’t the only source of inspiration for Joyner.

“My mama is my rock,” Joyner said. “Every single day, she sends me a daily prayer. Some days, it has patience and trusting God and having faith. I’m a big spiritual guy. I’m all about having faith and I trust in the plan that God has for me.”

With their support, Joyner said it helps him remain levelheaded and ready for his moment whenever it may come.

Joyner and the Gamecocks will open the season in Charlotte on Aug. 31 against North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

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