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Thursday, December 6, 2012
In-state battle brewing for Austin Joyner?

By Mason Kelley

When Austin Joyner (Marysville, Wash./Marysville-Pilchuck) recently received a scholarship offer from Washington, he admitted he was a bit surprised.

Only a sophomore, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound athlete didn’t expect to start receiving college interest quite so early in his career. But, more surprising than the offer was the school that extended it.

Joyner was just starting to hear from the Huskies. If a school was going to offer him early, he thought it would be Washington State. He caught the Cougars’ attention during a camp this summer and have been after him ever since.

“I actually expected one from them first, because I’ve been talking to one of their coaches for defense,” said Joyner, who rushed for 2,036 yards in 2012.

After he received a scholarship offer from Washington State on Tuesday there could be an in-state battle brewing for the sophomore’s services.

“I’m not sure yet,” he said with a laugh, sounding almost surprised two schools would compete to convince him to play there. “Maybe there will be. I have no clue right now.”

Since he has time, Joyner said he doesn’t currently favor one program over the other.

“It’s great,” he said. “I have two offers now and I’m only a sophomore. It’s a good experience.”

The Cougars have offered him a scholarship as a running back, while the Huskies currently have him as an athlete. Joyner is open to playing on either side of the ball and, despite his gaudy numbers on offense, he is developing into a very good safety.

While he isn’t in a rush to pick a school -- these first two offers are sure to be the first of many -- he is making sure he takes care of his part of the process.

“I just focus on what I need to do in school and that kind of stuff first,” Joyner said. “After all of that’s done, I start thinking about this kind of stuff.”