An Interview With Jonathan Joseph

Jonathan Joseph will be relied upon to step in and replace a first round NFL draft pick in the Gamecock secondary. Is he up to the task? After reading about his particular approach - you decide ...

Jonathan Joseph (Nickname: Jay Joe)

You are in the big leagues now. Are you ready?

"I feel really confident about it. I've adjusted to the speed of the game at this level pretty well I think. I'm still learning to focus on things as they happen minute by minute, and by that I mean I am still working on my technique and how to not put too much stress on myself. So if I continue to get all the mental aspects of everything down pat I'll make it much easier on myself and in doing so I'll be much better on the field."

So you feel you have the physical attributes to compete at any level. What you are trying to do is hone your mental skills?

"Exactly. For me, I can do anything physically that I need to do to be a good corner. What is important for me to refine is my mental approach to the game at this level."

You are very confident in your coverage skills obviously. So how do you feel about your hitting skills?

"I feel confident hitting people. I am more of a finess corner so my hits may not be like Ricardo's but as long as you get the man down that's what matters ... it doesn't have to be a big collision. I feel real confident with it - I am not afraid of contact, it's no big deal."

Are you healed after your off-season surgery?

"Yeah, I had off-season surgery but they've got me wearing a shoulder harness now just for protection. But once the season comes around I am going to take it off. The surgery worked - I am doing well."

What is your height, weight and forty time Jay Joe?

"I'm 6-0 and somewhere around 185-188. The last time I clocked the forty it was in the low 4.4s."

Will the corners play mostly man or zone coverage this year?

"We'll run both of them, it depends on what the call is. We'll run a lot of both, there is a mixture of both in our package so you are going to see us in a lot of both depending on the situation. But Freddy and me and the others, we're all very confident with what we are doing."

Are you the field corner or the boundary corner?

"We've only put the boundary safeties and field safeties in so far. We have not named the corners yet."

How's Fred Bennett looking on the other side?

"He's looking real good. He's a big time cornerback. Taqiy Muhammad, Tremaine Tyler ... all four of us are looking real good right now.'

How do you like Coach Cooper so far?

"Are you kidding? I love him because he really doesn't just sit there because you are a senior or whatever and give you everything. He stays on everyone equally hard and that is something you don't see a lot in D-I college football. He pushes everybody and he gives everybody a fair shot at it - he is not going to take anybody's side really. That kind of surprised me to see him operating that way and I like it."

Are you looking forward to the opener and getting into some real SEC action?

"Yes. It's the dream of a lifetime I just can't wait for that first game to get here. I think about it almost 24 hours a day. I keep playing the game over and over in my mind thinking about everything I expect to see thrown at me and how I am going to deal with it. I watch so much film that I am dreaming about how the game is going to play out in my head."

Do the Gamecocks win?

"Oh yeah, most definitely. Absolutely."

May your dreams come true Jay Joe.

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