TAMPA - Hunter Joyer might be a man of few words, but those around the Tampa Catholic senior keep raving about him.
This weekend, it was the coaching staff at the IMG Academy football program, which includes camp director and Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke. Joyer, a 5-foot-11, 248-pound fullback and linebacker at TC, attended the three-day event in Bradenton and Sunday emerged with the Offensive MVP Award.
Not only did Joyer impress the coaches with his performance on the field, he blew them away with his attitude and personality.
"Hunter got our attention from the get-go," Weinke said. "I'm a very firm believer in discipline and carrying yourself the right way and in that regard, Hunter stood out almost immediately."
And then there were the things Joyer did on the field of the IMG Academy. In everything from one-on-one drills to team play, Joyer was stellar. Particularly impressive was his speed, footwork and his pass-catching abilities, Weinke said.
"Hunter has great vision, good feet and is explosive," Weinke said. "But what I couldn't get over was how good his hands are. He's a big man but ran very precise pass routes and caught the ball well."
According to the camp's business director, Josh Clark, former NFL assistant George Sefcik, who coached 14 running backs to 1,000-yard seasons in the league, Joyer has the ability to be a featured running back for any college team in the nation. That should be good news for Gator fans. Joyer made a verbal commitment to Florida earlier this year.
Three other Hillsborough County athletes also attended the camp and impressed coaches: Berkeley Prep receiver/defensive back Nelson Agholor, Jefferson receiver Andre Davis and Alonso defensive end Anthony Chickillo. Since they were one-day campers, they were not eligible for camp awards.
Earning the camp's Big Man MVP honor was Land O'Lakes offensive lineman T.J. Chamberlin.