Joiner Late Addition to Weekend


Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 5:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 5:00 p.m.

Haines City safety Tony Joiner came to Gainesville this weekend to make an official visit to the school he committed to more than a month ago.

While Joiner has a few official visits to other schools scheduled after his trip to Florida, Haines City coach Pat Herrington said Florida is where Joiner will play next fall.

"He's going to Gainesville," Herrington said. "His commitment is very strong."

The 6-2, 190-pound safety, who runs a 4.52 40-yard dash, reads

quarterbacks very well, Herrington said. He has excellent field vision and breaks on the ball well.

A starter at Haines City since his sophomore season, Joiner showed good leadership skills by practicing hard and taking care of business in the classroom as well as on the field.

Having spent much time in practice defending against his coach's

pass-happy spread offense, Joiner should be well prepared to defend against college-level offenses.

"Many days we would take our first team offense and go against him and some other guys on defense," Herrington said. "He had no problem with the spread offense."

Along with his ability to defend against the pass, Herrington said Joiner can tackle and play the run very well.

"He loves to hit," he said. "Once he gets his hands on you, you're going down."

Florida two starting safeties, Guss Scott and Daryl Dixon, graduated, and though Jarvis Herring and Cory Bailey seemed poised to step into those roles, Joiner and fellow safety commitment Kyle Jackson should add needed depth.

Early reports trickling in from the recruiting weekend have Florida doing very well with both Joiner and Jackson there to help recruit for the Gators. The Sun will continue to provide updates throughout the week.

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