No. 19. Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State
2011 stats: He started all 13 games and was fourth on the team with 54 tackles. He finished with two tackles for loss, one sack and three pass breakups. He tied for fourth in the ACC with four interceptions and led the team in kickoff returns (13) and kickoff return yards (397). His 30.5 yards per return would have led the ACC if Joyner would have averaged 1.2 returns a game. He had six returns of 30 yards or more.
Previous ranking: Not ranked.
Making the case for Joyner: His speed allows him to cover a lot of ground in the secondary, and he has an instinct for the ball. He’s an explosive athlete who is also one of the team’s top kick returners. He flourished last season after he moved back to his natural position of safety. As a true freshman in 2010, Joyner played in all 14 games as a cornerback. We saw what Joyner is capable of in the Champs Sports Bowl against Notre Dame, when he had seven tackles, an interception, and a career-long 77-yard kickoff return. He was named the Noles’ most improved player on defense last year.