Joe Joseph arrived at UM last spring weighing 270 pounds from Oak Ridge High School in Orlando. After being at UM Joseph has bulked up to 290 pounds, weight that he has put on mostly in his lower body.
"I came here pretty strong in my upper body, but when we started working out in the summer I got stronger and gained a lot of weight in my legs," Joseph said. "My legs got 100 pounds stronger. My squat went from 350 to now 450 pounds. Bench press has gone from 300 pounds to now 340 pounds."
Joseph is primarily a pass rushing defensive tackle that has good agility for his size. He was a four year starter in high school. As a senior in 2003, Joseph made 68 tackles, including nine four a loss, despite having to fight through double-teams for most of the season.
After his first year at UM, Joseph has had to make a lot of adjustments to the college game.
"It has definitely been different," Joseph said. "Going from high school where I was the starter and a star on defense and then coming here and getting redshirted. It was kind of rough at first, but I just have to put a lot of hard work in."
Joseph, whose strength is working his hard working mentality, says he has improved "his ability to stay low and get to the ball" this spring. Joseph has been working with new defensive tackle coach Clint Hurtt this spring, on his footwork and his hand strength.
"Coach Hurtt is a real good coach," Joseph said. "He expects the best out of you, so he is going to push you harder than what you expect from a coaching standpoint. With him, you have to be ready to go hard. He is a go get ‘em type of guy."
Joseph is excited about the opportunity that the spring game will give him. He will be able to show his talent and ability to coaches and fans alike. Joseph will continue to work hard and will no doubt be part of the defensive line rotation in years to come.
"I do not want to get ahead of myself. I have a tendency to want to take care of everybody else's job, so I am going to take care of my responsibilities and just play hard," Joseph said. "I am sort of happy with how I have progressed. Really I want to work on just staying low and working on my footwork."
David Lake is a Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com