DL Has UM & UF as Leaders

There's been a lot of talk in recent weeks about Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater standout Aaron Jones. He's not the only standout defensive lineman from Orange County this year. Oak Ridge's Joe Joseph is having a solid season himself.

At 6-4 and 270 pounds, Joseph has 24 tackles and a sack through five games this season.

"Teams sure know how to run away from my side," Joseph said. "To guard against that, I've been playing some defensive tackle too this season. Throwing the ball, nobody really has done much of that."

Joseph, who also competes in varsity basketball and track, is getting plenty of recruiting action in recent weeks.

"I get calls from the colleges almost every night," he said. "Sometimes, it's like it never stops. Miami, UCF, Florida, Florida State, South Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisville, Michigan State, Ohio State, East Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee."

The talented defensive lineman, whose only scheduled visit right now is for South Carolina next weekend, said he currently has six written offers.

"The ones in writing are UCF, Florida, Tennessee, Louisville, Ohio State, and South Carolina," he said.

Joseph said there are two programs that have the lead at this point in the process.

"It's a tie between Florida and Miami for the lead," he said. "I like both of them a lot. I was supposed to go to the game but I got hurt, my ankle, that game and I wasn't able to make it. I'm trying to get to the Miami/Florida State game this week."

Joseph believes there's a lot to like about both programs, including some of the same things.

"I like the coaching staffs at both schools," he said. "Plus, the depth chart is looking good. I want to be able to start by my second year so I'd prefer there not be many guys there already. I think I can start by my second year, even if I redshirt."

The standout defender said he talks to coaches from both programs on a regular basis.

"Florida calls the most," he said. "I've talked to Miami but not as much. He said I need to focus on winning a state title before anything else."

While Joseph does not have a written offer from the Hurricanes yet, he believes the opportunity is there.

"Last week, on the phone, I asked Miami about an offer and he said it's just something they never talked about but I have one," he said. "It was really the first time I asked."

The Orlando standout said it's a total tossup between the two programs right now.

"It's real even right now," he said. "I'll look at the academics, the depth chart, and how the coaches approach me."

South Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio State round out of his top five, saying, "those will be my five official visits."

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