Sophomore Sebastian Joseph finds himself in one of the hottest position battles of spring. After he backed up both Kenneth Kirksey and Darius Hamilton last season, Joseph goes head-to-head with Kevin Wilkins for the starting nose tackle job this season.
Rutgers coach Kyle Flood will rotate both guys, but the right to start means something to both players.
“Kevin and I are both competing for the job, yes, but we’re not letting it interfere with our friendship,” Joseph said. “Kevin is like my little brother and we push each other. We tell each other when we do things wrong. We tell each other when we do things right. We don’t let that interfere.”
Joseph holds the experience edge over Wilkins, and remains the first-team nose tackle heading into the first spring scrimmage.
“Last year’s experience helped me a lot because I finally got to play,” Joseph said. “I finally got to see how it really feels to play against Big Ten opponents. It made me more eager to work and get stronger and better.”
The big man from Stroudsburg (Pa.) said his hands need to improve, especially when stunting, and he is happy to have Scott Vallone on the field to help.
“Scott Vallone really helped me out,” Joseph said. “He’s the man. He was a great player here. I’m very blessed to have him here in the program. Every time I had a question, I’d always run to [defensive line coach Jim Panagos]. Now I can go to Scott.”