All coaches have their preferences. For some, establishing the running game with a heavy dose of blockers is a key element, a la Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. As for former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, the current Arizona headman tends to opt for a dual-threat quarterback that can open up a spread offense with his versatility.
For the Wildcats in 2016, Rodriguez had found his primary run-pass quarterback in Brandon Dawkins, a redshirt sophomore with a nearly 60-percent completion rate to his credit after six games. Dawkins has accumulated 941 yards and five touchdowns through the air paired with 484 rushing yards and eight touchdowns at the midway point of the ’16 season.
The offensive-minded Wildcats coach is recruiting similar athletes that could also provide an element of rushing ability in addition to their aerial exploits. For the 2017 class, for example, Arizona landed the commitment of four-star dual-threat quarterback Braxton Burmeister, a California product from La Jolla, toward the middle of May. Now, Arizona also has its 2018 dual-threat in the fold.
Jamarye Joiner, a junior recruit from within the state’s border at Coronado National Forest (Ariz.) Cienega, committed to Arizona in September after receiving his offer a month earlier. According to 247Sports.com, Joiner is listed as the No. 11 dual-threat quarterback in the country and No. 2 player in the entire state based off of early film and his relatively high ceiling as a talented athlete.
And athlete is a good way to describe Joiner, though the dynamic prospect should receive a strong look under center to begin his collegiate career. Right now, Joiner operates a spread offense out of the shotgun, so he is experienced in a similar system to what Rodriguez runs at Arizona.
Joiner looks to be a good fit for the Wildcats’ system given his cutting ability, speed desired to hit the edge and deceptiveness when handling the football. These qualities take care of the running aspect, but Joiner has a bit of development left to undergo as a passer.
Standing at 6-foot and 185 pounds, Joiner is not tall enough to seize the typical downfield throwing lanes, so most of his passes require a bit of touch — which in fairness, he has shown. Most throws, though, loop up and down thanks to his sidearm throwing motion, but he is comfortable throwing on the run as a byproduct of his style.
With a college commitment meaning so much in terms of a football player’s future, Joiner kept his family in the loop regarding his nerve-racking plans to commit to Arizona, which he explained to AZ Desert Swarm last month.
“I was talking to them a lot about the decision and what I was going to do,” Joiner said. “So they were on board and their reaction, they handled it a little better than I did, but I was a little overwhelmed, a little antsy. But they were calm and held me down with it.”
Joiner went on to mention that he has been taking reps at wide receiver during practice with his high school team, but that is solely for a package used to surprise opponents. Still, Joiner’s versatility does not rule out a position change in college, but as of now he looks to fit Rodriguez’s system like a glove.
Rodriguez will see just how well that glove fits in approximately two years.