Joyner Ready to Make Return on Rams’ Investment

Posted May 15, 2014

Joyner, on his style of play, "My whole mentality is I’m going to make the guy across the line from me quit before I do."

Lamarcus Joyner is not one to appear short on confidence.

Though somewhat diminutive in stature, the 5’8” defensive back has shown a propensity to hold little back, whether he’s speaking to media or squaring up an opposing receiver.

The Rams’ second-round draft pick, who ranked highly on the Rams board of draft-eligible defensive backs, was rather enamored with the organization’s confidence in his ability when the Rams traded up to the 41st overall pick to select the Florida State product.

“I felt as though they made a sacrifice for me,” Joyner said. “I’m good with returning favors. I think that I owe them the same. I’m going to give all my heart, all my soul to this organization because that meant a lot for them to be able to do that, especially with all the great talent that’s out here. Trying to get into the National Football League and for these men to make that sacrifice for me, then I owe them the same thing in return.”

Joyner’s route to football stardom was a circuitous one. A native of Liberty City, Florida, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Miami, football became not only a passion, but offered an improved lease on life. Joyner has leaned on both his work ethic and his faith for seeing him through in an environment that enveloped so many around him.

“I’ve been running away from that place all my life, which is why I do what I do on the field and in the weight room and the way I respect people,” Joyner said. “It’s a dream come true. Like I said, I’ve been running from that place all my life, and to be here and to be from afar, from where I come from – there’s no better feeling.”

Joyner parlayed his football exploits at the prep level to a four-year career at Florida State, where he snagged eight interceptions, while also becoming one of the most physical defensive backs in the Atlantic Coast Conference. His 5.5 sacks led the national champion Seminoles, a rarity for a cornerback. His physical and aggressive pedigree makes him an ideal fit in a Gregg Williams-led defense, a notion that made him an attractive option in the draft’s second round. When Tennessee emerged as a potential threat to grab Joyner two spots ahead, the Rams brokered a deal with Buffalo for the 41st pick. Confirming the team’s suspicions, Tennessee followed by trading out of the 42nd selection.

Following the Rams’ decision, Joyner immediately turned his attention back to the style of play that has defined his college career, and made him a must-have prospect for the Rams’ coaching and scouting staffs.

“I feel like nobody wants to be physical for 60 minutes,” Joyner said. “It’s like fighting someone in the boxing ring. You punch that guy with all you have and he looks at you in the eye and says, ‘That’s all you have?’  That takes the spirit out of someone. So I play physical football because I know no man is going to want to play 60 minutes like I am. My whole mentality is I’m going to make the guy across the line from me quit before I do.”

Should Joyner succeed in his aggressive outlook, he’ll be sure to make the Rams’ investment in the second-round talent well worth the cost.