Havelock junior linebacker Keion Joyner has been selected to the MaxPreps.com Preseason Junior All-American Team.
MaxPreps.com is a national high school sports website where information and statistics are submitted by coaches. The site is owned by CBS Sports.
Joyner was the only North Carolina player selected on defense.
He finished last season with 108 tackles, 7.5 sacks, two interceptions and seven forced fumbles.
Joyner has already been named Scout.com’s No. 1 overall player in the Class of 2016 and No. 9 overall in ESPN.com’s Class of 2016 Top 300.
“Keion is a heck of a player and this is probably just the first of many more all-state and all-American teams that he will be named to,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said.
Bryant said Joyner excels in run defense, but said he and Joyner agree that improvement is needed in pass defense before he plays in college in two years.
“I think he would agree with me and tell you that himself that that’s an area he needs to work on,” Bryant said. “We never asked him in the past to focus too much on pass defense, so we will definitely work on that with him this year.”
Joyner follows a long list of Havelock standouts, including Corey Robinson and Pharoh Cooper at South Carolina, Derrell Scott and Kendal Vickers at Tennessee, Malcom Ashley at East Carolina, and Taylor Woods at James Madison.
Senior Micheal Bowman has committed to play at South Carolina, while his brother, Kyran Bowman, a junior, has committed to play at North Carolina.
Joyner, who is being recruited by just about every major football program in the country, has not made a decision about his college plans.
“We’ve been very blessed to have great players at Havelock,” Bryant said. “We coach them no differently than we do anybody else. Whether they are a five-star or a negative five-star, it doesn’t matter, we treat them the same.”
Havelock is scheduled for its first official 2014 practice on Friday. The season opens on Aug. 22 against Washington at Havelock.
Jordan Honeycutt is a reporter for the Sun Journal.