Patrick Joyner a defensive on the Utah State wears one of his Positive Journey shirts with a medallion of his nephew that has passed away. Joyner stands near a USU statue on Wednesday Dec. 1, 2021.
LOGAN – Patrick Joyner, a 6’2’’, 230 lbs. junior defensive end on Utah State University’s football team, is making a mark off the field as well as on it. The Miami South Dade High School graduate is member of Hard Knocks Foundation, an organization that uses football as a catalyst to keep youth off the streets and on the playing field.
Derrick Lester started the foundation 2007. Joyner learned the fundamentals of football, discipline, dedication and teamwork from being a part of the foundation. They claim to have helped approximately 3,000 student athletes reach their full potential.
The foundation takes underserved athletes to football camps at major universities to showcase their talents.
“We knock on doors to get money,” Lester said. “We go to individuals, mom and pop shops, and even large corporations and ask for money.”
Then they pay the fees for the boys to attend football, load them up with student athletes and take them to various university football camps where they can get noticed.
“Some of these kids couldn’t afford to do this on their own so we make it happen,” Lester said. “It has worked. We have taken our kids to camps where some of the country’s top college coaches have seen them and offered scholarships to them.”
Joyner is one of their success stories. After high school, Joyner began his college football career at University of Miami, then followed three of his coaches from Florida to Utah State University.
After his exposure to the Hard Knocks Foundation Joyner started his own clothing brand, Positive Journey, to help contribute to the foundation. He has two T-shirt designs he sells to help them.
He wants to hold similar football camps this summer.
Coach Lester said they just held a football camp with 200 kids sponsored by Joyner’s Positive Journey brand.
“When the National Collegiate Athletic Association passed the new rule that kids can make money off their brand we came up with Positive Journey,” Lester said. “We thought about the up side helping people and wanted to motivate them to do good things that is positive.”
Joyner took some of the profits from his shirt brand to help a family during the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I went to the Cache Food Pantry and talked to them about a family that needed help with a Thanksgiving meal,” Joyner said. “They gave us a name of a single dad with 12 kids.”
Joyner went with the father and some of his children to the store and bought the family an entire Thanksgiving dinner.
“I just wanted to help someone during Thanksgiving,” he said. “I wanted to have a positive experience and help someone who needed it.”
He is not done yet. He is gearing up for the Christmas season. He wants to find someone who could use some gifts for Christmas and give them presents.
“I just want to help the community,” he said. “I’ve had some great opportunities and I just want to help where I can.”
Right now, Joyner who wears the number 0, is putting his attention towards the upcoming Jimmy Kimmel Live LA Bowl on December 18th. USU will face Oregon State at 5:30 p.m. in Inglewood California in SoFi Stadium.