LB Backs Up His Talk

Sabbath Joseph talks a good game. He's not shy about it either. In fact, he'll gladly tell you about it before you ask.

"I like to talk out there (on the field)," Joseph said. "I'll be the first to tell you that. Unlike some people, I back it up. Some guys talk junk and do nothing. Hialeah's running back (Shomari Grant) was quoted in the newspapers as saying he'd run for 200 yards against us. I told him that was the wrong thing to do. It was funny cuz he came out in pre game and was all hyped up and everything. When the game started and I laid my first hit on him, he lost it. He shut up in a hurry. He carried 22 times for 19 yards. Close."

Sabbath Joseph, 5-foot-11 and 212 pounds, is off to an excellent start in four games this season at Miami (Fla.) Central. The talented linebacker has 43 tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble, and one blocked punt. He's in his third season as the starter.

"I've been on some really good teams here but we haven't been able to finish it off (and win a state title) yet," he said. "I'm a three-year starter. This is my senior year. I've put everything I have into this. My heart's in it. My freshman year I waited behind guys like Ali (Highsmith) and Chevin (Pace). I learned from them, took pointers. It's been fun."

Joseph believes he's the best linebacker in Dade County right now. He probably won't find too many arguments.

"I really wanna watch (Antonio) Lowery from Columbus," he said. "People talk about him a lot. I know he had 53 tackles the whole year (in 2004). I had 95 tackles, 3 blocked kicks, a touchdown. There's not much else I can say. I feel like I'm the best around."

Joseph said his work ethic during the week to better understand his opponents is what separates him from a lot of other linebackers.

"I have good quickness from sideline to sideline and I'm real aggressive," he said. "But what really makes me who I am is the way I break down film during the week. I know exactly what the snap counts are. I know how the O-Linemen are taking their steps. I know when happens when I blitz from certain angles. I know what type of running back we're playing and when he likes to cut, when he doesnt like getting hit, things like that."

Joseph, whose main focus is on Carol City right now, is looking forward to playing against two of Dade County's best running backs later in the year.

"We play HML right after Carol City and I know (Armando Allen) is having a good year," he said. "He's real fast. You just gotta hit him and people arent doing that. We'll see what happens. Antwan Easterling from Northwestern is a good back, having a good year. When we played them last year, I hit him so hard that he broke his leg and had to miss the whole season. I aint worried about either of those guys. They're good players but lets see what they do against us."

The talented senior is getting plenty of recruiting interest so far as well. He claims three written offers right now but says several others are calling him on a regular basis.

"Rutgers has sent me one (an offer), Ole Miss, and Auburn," he said. "I went to Auburn's camp and their linebackers coach was real impressed. UM and Florida State have given me a few calls. Those are my top two right there. It's 50/50 between them."

Joseph, who does not yet have offers from the two in-state powers, talked about what he likes about the two programs.

"Growing up, I lived in a house that rooted for the Seminoles," he said. "My brother rooted for them. I had a chance to go up there this summer and check out one of their scrimmages. When I saw the players, Ernie Sims on the sidelines doing the chant with everyone else in the stadium, I got chills. It was something I had always seen on TV and was able to experience it. FSU's kinda my childhood favorite. Then on the otherhand, how great would it be to play for the hometown Canes. Everyone is yelling C-A-N-E-S, Canes. I know Darnell (Jenkins) and Bryan Pata and some of those guys. Miami's also recruiting my teammate Bryant Miller and I know he likes Miami a lot. They put a lot of guys into the pros. It would be a tough decision if they both offered me."

What's the hold up on the offers?

"Maybe they wanna see me pass the test," he said. "I'm still waiting for my scores to come back on the ACT and I'm taking the SAT this Saturday. Coach Shannon is supposed to come check us out soon but he said he doesn't wanna interfere too much with our season. He knows we're on a mission."

Joseph has just one official visit lined up so far -- Ole Miss. The rest will be after the season.

"We like to stay focused on our season," he said. "We're going up to Ole Miss on the 27th of this month. The rest of the visits will probably be after the season, probably in January some time."

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