An Interview With Jonathan Joseph

Gamecock Insider had a chance to speak with heralded newcomer Jonathan Joseph about many things. We share his thoughts with our premium members in this revealing interview ...

Jonathan Joseph

On being the newcomer and how he feels he is fitting in.

"Well I feel pretty good with the team right now. Most of the other corners are young too so we are all about the same. We have some experience at safety so they are providing leadership for us younger guys. They are helping me a lot and I am adjusting to the speed and tempo of the game at this level - I'm getting into it."

On the pressure of being penciled in as a starter straight out of JuCo.

"For one, as a player you look for these kind of situations where there is a lot of responsibility put on you. You have to be ready by preparing and that is what I am doing now. If I had to play tomorrow in a game it might be different. For now I am taking this in stages and getting ready by preparing for what is coming so that makes me very comfortable with everything right now. As we come in here this spring it gives me time and by the first game, even though I know it will be different and it will be another change, I am getting ready now."

On his 40 time once he arrived with the team.

"They timed me. I ran a 4.34 for the coaches."

On his size.

"I am 5-11, I weight somewhere around 187, 186."

On being able to handle the physical aspect of the game at this level.

"Well, we've done a few tackling drills. We've done some hitting and I am fine. I've got a little bit of a shoulder injury right now from when we were doing some helmet drills but other than that I am fine. I like to hit people as much as I like to cover. It's all the same to me."

On Coach Cooper and him starting with the team at the same time.

"We're kind of on the same page or whatever. I have no problems or complaints. I mean he is a great coach. What I like about him is how he mixes things in to show us things that will make you better on the field and off the field.

How does he feel about the defensive scheme overall this year.

"The schemes that we have are really good. I mean we have so many failsafes and backup plans for backs to help against the run and in reverse ... overall it is really good. I like it. I can see how it is going to work really well for us."

About the talent that is surrounding him.

"We have a lot of talent. I think we have enough talent to be able to compete with anyone as a team. Everywhere I look around me I am amazed at how good everyone is out here. Everyone deserves to be here."

On being back close to home for a change.

"Oh it feels real good. It's a dream to be close to my family and friends. I also have a son and I wanted to be back close to him more than anything. It's great to be back home. I could have signed with a lot of other schools but I knew this was home for me and that is why I signed here."

On having an instate understanding of the Carolina Vs Clemson Rivalry.

"There's going to be a lot of talk about that this year because of the way last season ended for this team. There already is. But we play in the SEC and we cannot really worry about that except to know it is there and it is coming. We are forced to focus on the other games one game at a time in the SEC. But being from this state I know all about it and it will always be in the back of my mind. Until the time comes I have to keep it there and concentrate on being new here and the SEC schedule."

On being comfortable with the decision to sign with Carolina.

"Well, this is why I signed here. I had offers from other schools all over the country including Florida State, Oklahoma and some others. But being close to home, playing for Coach Holtz and being loyal and true to myself is why I signed here in the end. I had made the commitment to come and play here out of high school and I wanted to stick with my word regardless of what has happened here the last two seasons. My word is important to me so it was important that I come back here when my time came. I am looking forward to the next three seasons. I stuck with it. Another reason is because I knew if I came here everything was working out timing wise for me to come right in and have a chance to win the starting job."

Did he grow up a Gamecock fan?

"Not really. I didn't really have a favorite growing up in this state. Whichever team was winning, that's who I watched the most. My junior and senior years in high school South Carolina was winning the most so that's who I wanted to play for when it came time to sign. I do not regret that decision."

What is his major and how is he doing in school.

"I am majoring in Criminal Justice and everything is going fine. I love it. I should have something like a 3.4 or 3.5 once this semester is finished. I was glad they had a Criminal Justice program here."

What does he need to work on to improve the most.

"Little detail things like watching more film. That is important at this level. They are teaching me that film is a great tool to use to get better. Physically I think I am progressing in the right direction. I have the God given physical skills to compete at this level. Now the coaches are going to teach me to put it all to good use and make the most of it. That's all anyone can ask for."

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