One-on-One with Michael Josiah

Former Cardinal defensive end Michael Josiah spent a few minutes with ITV at Friday's Spring Game and provided us with an update on his life since leaving Louisville as a junior.

Despite playing just three seasons at the University of Louisville from 1999 through 2001, Michael Josiah made quite an impact on the program during his time on the field.

The former Cardinal defensive end utilized great speed and instincts to create havoc for opposing offensive linemen and was most often found in the opponents backfield making a tackle for a loss or sacking the quarterback.

Anyone who takes a few moments to glance through the Cardinals record book with find Michael Josiah's name throughout.

He continues to rank near the top for sacks in a season with 13 and is currently second in career sacks with 31.5, trailing former teammate Dewayne White. He also only trails White in tackles for a loss in a season (19) and for a career (43).

He played a vital role in Louisville's three bowl appearances during his career, including the 2001 Liberty Bowl victory over Mountain West Conference Champion BYU.

Josiah chose to enter the NFL Draft following his junior season and eventually signed with the Cleveland Browns.

This past Friday, Josiah was among the many former Cardinal greats that returned to the River City for the annual Red-White Spring Game.

While having little spare time, Michael did find a few minutes to spend with Inside the Ville.

ITV: You've been with a couple teams since you left Louisville, what are your plans right now?

Josiah: Still trying to chase my NFL dream. I still haven't found a home in the NFL and it's hard, but that's life. Sometimes it works out for you the way you hope and sometimes it doesn't. I know that I gave it 110% when I played for Louisville and I hope the fans appreciated that. Now I am giving it 110% in every NFL camp that I am in.

ITV: How are the camps going for you?

Josiah: Well, I was with Jacksonville this past year, but they decided to let me go, so I have decided to sign with a team out of Montreal, the Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, so I'll be up there for this season. Hopefully I'll be picked up by another NFL team next year. But, if my career has to be in Canada, then that is what God's plan is.

ITV: What do you know about the CFL?

Josiah: They play good football up there. It's all about the level of football and the game. It's not about individual awards or the glory, it's about the game...going out there and giving it your all with your friends and teammates on the field.

ITV: What are your thoughts about how U of L continues to grow as a program and will now be apart of the BCS?

Josiah: (laughing) I'm mad! We should have been there four years ago. Seriously, I think it is a wonderful thing. I think it is one of the best things to happen to this program and I'm proud to know that I played a part of getting the team to the next level.

ITV: What does it mean to you to come back for the Spring Game?

Josiah: It's great. A lot of these guys here now were freshmen when I was here and it's great to come back now and see how they have matured. Also to see great guys like Deion Branch and Zek Parker and to meet some of the older guys like Ted Washington, who to me, was my idol when I came to Louisville. I remember when I first got to the University of Louisville and saw the names of some of the guys who played here before, I knew that I was going to be playing somewhere that has had a lot of great defensive linemen and wanted to be like them. To come here and to be able to spend time with them now, and to actually play in the NFL with them for two years, was a great opportunity.

ITV: Most knew you as a fired up, no-holds barred type of player. How would you describe your personality while on the field?

Josiah: One thing that I was taught here by one of my coaches, Coach Nick Holt, was that when you get on the field, you have to turn on another switch and that's the animal switch and that's what I learned to do. When I was on the football field I was a different person and I think that is the best way to play the game. A lot of people said that I played with my heart on my sleeve and some people see the good in that and some see the bad in that, but all I know is that nobody can say that I didn't give 110% on every play.

ITV: It seems that with most great players, there are always a few plays that everyone remembers. One of those plays for you was at Illinois when you were called for a personal foul and ejected from the game when you sacked Kurt Kitna when the play had been called dead. Looking back now, what do you recall from that play?

Josiah: (laughing) Ah yes, Illinois and Kurt Kitna. Wow! Kitna was going to one of their receivers, I can't remember his name, but he was going up against J.T. Haskins and he was giving J.T. a hard time and from the corner of my eye I saw him run his route, so for me, I wanted to make sure the play was dead and that they wouldn't get a cheap touchdown, so I played it out. I'm sorry that it was Kurt Kitna, the weekend after September 11th, but I think people blew it out of proportion. I know that it was a clean play. I could've taken him down...everyone has seen me play and knew how I hit and if was out to hurt him I could've, but I just trying to make sure the play was dead. It was in the heat of the battle and I did what I thought was right and they threw me out of the game and I respect that. I have nothing against Kurt Kitna and I have nothing against any of them, all though the entire Illinois team did jump on me. (laughing) It's definitely one of things in your career that when you look back at it you laugh. The only thing is I don't want my son Michael to see that play...it will get cut out of the highlight tape.

ITV: Looking back, with you and Dewayne White, that was one of the most productive defensive end tandems in U of L history.

Josiah: I love Dewayne. He and I lived together, which a lot people don't know. We had a lot of fun playing. I really enjoyed myself while playing here. He's a great athlete. He complimented me and I complimented him. No one could double team us, they thought they could, but they couldn't. Dewayne brought power and finesse to the game and I brought speed and finesse to the game, so it was really hard for offenses to stop both of us. I just wish I would have reevaluated and would have come back for my senior year to have one more year with Dewayne. It would have been awesome and we would have rewritten the history books. I just thank God that I had the opportunity to play along with a great defensive end like Dewayne.

ITV: Any last comments for the fans?

Josiah: Yes I do. (jokingly) We were and still had the best defensive line ever here, better than the one with Ted Washington on it. We were a championship team...so let that be known.


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