Father Knows Best

Joe Haden, II knows that he has been blessed with five physically gifted young men, ranging in age from 11 to 18. Joe II, a former track star himself at Friendly HS in Fort Washington, Maryland during the late 1980's and now a personal trainer, spends anywhere from six to eight hours in the weight room with the Haden boys.

"They are all genetically gifted kids and because of that we have been able to take full advantage of what God has given us," says Joe II.

Eighteen year old Joe Haden III, or "J" as people have come to know him, has a big edge on the rest of the competition and its all physical according to his father.

"Joe is one of the most gifted and athletic people I have ever been around. If he was 6'3 he would have been the top QB in the nation last year. Joe could have gone to a number of mid-majors and started at QB but once we looked at the depth chart at the CB position at Florida, and the big picture of maybe getting to the next level, Joe knew that the Gators presented the best opportunity.

"His work ethic is amazing but the opportunity to start at a major program like the University of Florida, the defending National Champs, was a dream come true."

Joe II goes on to say that J is so physically gifted that it has allowed him to concentrate more on his foot work and flexibility and also spend time with Coach Heater in the film room. The UF staff raves about J and his work ethic and most importantly his willingness to listen, something that J has done all his life.

There is a ton of great talent at a school like the University of Florida and most of the time the ones that succeed are the ones that listen and work hard, something that J does very well.

Fort Washington, Maryland could be the destination for college coaches from across the nation from now until the year 2013, but at the present time its 17 year old Josh Haden who is getting the attention of coaches.

A 5'8, 205 lb tailback with 4.34 speed, Josh is a "freak of nature" says dad. "He is the strongest of the strong and the fastest of the fast at the running back position."

Mr. Haden remembers when J and Josh first started playing football and how equally competitive they were.

"The two of them would be in the backyard in full pads going at it until I made them stop. At times I was scared they would hurt each other," he said, adding that J is a touch faster but Josh is a touch stronger.

Call it brotherly love if you will, but the competitive nature between J and Josh is exactly what the University of Florida staff is looking for.

"I love this staff; they are all about competing and trusting one another," says dad. "It's a real family atmosphere in Gainesville. This staff wants kids that want to compete and work hard and the Haden boys are willing to do just that. So many kids have a ton of talent but don't have the drive or desire to put it all together, and we have really been lucky in that respect."

Joe Haden II certainly has the Haden boys heading in the right direction. The question is will that direction lead them to Gainesville?

The Youngest Haden

In speaking with Josh, it was clear that he was of the same mold of his father.

"I am working real hard to be the best that I can be. I want to get bigger and stronger for my senior season. My current recruiting situation is going real well but I want to be better than I am now."

Josh has an unofficial trip scheduled for sometime in June to Boston College and later plans on going to Michigan. As far as Gainesville is concerned, Josh says that every chance he gets to take a trip to the Swamp this year he will.

Josh Haden has a top three of Florida, Boston College and Michigan.

Boston College: "I have built a good relationship with the coaching staff and just want to check it all out."

Michigan: "Well you know that Michigan loves to run the football and they are a big-time program and a big school that I want to see."

Florida: "Having seen J go through the recruiting process last year it showed me that I don't want to mess around with this thing and let it take on a life of its own. The Gators have set the bar very high and they have a great atmosphere in the Swamp. The UF staff has told me that they want a back that can catch the ball out of the backfield. I want to make my decision before my senior season and wherever I go it will fell like home."

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