Star Long Beach corner seeks out Bill Doba

LONG BEACH POLYTECHNIC is loaded with Division IA prospects this year. And Vincent Joseph might just be the cream of the crop, a 5-9 1/2, 185-pound lockdown cornerback who his coach rates as among the best one-on-one cover guys to ever take the field for the Jackrabbits. And he's already made a few calls on his own to a coach up in the Northwest.

Long Beach head man Raul Lara has seen some good ones out on the island and says Joseph is special. "He's been one of our best cover guys, one on one, by far," said Lara. "He's some kind of athlete."

"I like the pressure," said Joseph with a laugh. "Being out there, hitting, running and chasing everybody down -- that's pretty good."

CAL IS HIS early leader but Washington State and coach Bill Doba have also made a strong early impression on Joseph. Coaches can't initiate a phone call to recruits until later this spring so Joseph has taken the initiative, dialing up Doba and talkin' some football with the head man of the Cougs.

"Washington State is a big favorite," said Joseph. "They have my major and I really like their coach. He doesn't shy away from underclassmen or other players. I like people like that. I went and got his phone number so I've called him a couple times and we just talked for a while."

Joseph is interested in a computer technology degree, such as computer animation. In addition to a school's academics, he's looking for the right balance between work and fun, citing an outgoing group of teammates and student body, great facilities and a strong connection with a coaching staff.

Besides WSU, Joseph is seeing plenty of recruiting love come his way from the likes of Oregon, Washington, Cal, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon State, USC, Colorado, Nebraska, LSU and Georgia Tech. Oregon is recruiting the hardest but his early frontrunner is certainly Cal. Early offer(s) appear imminent for the defensive back.

JOSEPH WAS SO good at his craft, most of the action rolled away from him his junior year. "I got a little bored," he said with a laugh. "I like action and they weren't giving me much action! No, I understood why they weren't coming my way. It was kind of fun to laugh about it looking at tape...but it was a good experience."

On the regular season, (not including playoffs), Joseph had 27 pass breakups, the majority coming against the state's top ranked team and perennial powerhouse Mission Viejo. "That was mostly because they didn't care, they were going to keep throwing at me," Joseph said. He totaled 25 tackles (18 solo) and 1 fumble recovery during the regular season.

Joseph is also a track standout with a sub-11 100-meters (personal best of 10.56). He'll be competing in various sprints this year and also try his hand at the long jump. But apart from sheer speed, it's his ability to close and to stick like glue to receivers that makes him a valued commodity. His versatility should also be on display in '05, with plans to return kicks and even line up in the slot on offense for the Jackrabbits.

Vincent earned All-CIF and All-league honors and was a member of the Long Beach Press Telegram's Dream Team in '04. Still, he knows even the best corners have a play go against them from time to time.

"If something happens on me -- well, first of all I'm not going to let it -- but if it does happen on me, then I'm going to have the aggression and anger to come back and make plays," he said. "I'm going to get you back," Joseph said with a chuckle.

Spoken like a true lockdown corner.

Vincent Joseph profile

Besides Joseph, Poly has six more players we'll be profiling later on CF.C:

Terrence Austin, (6-0, 175) an explosive receiver with serious hops
Travon Patterson, (5-11, 175), a wide receiver with exceptional hands
Jurray Casey, (6-3, 210), a cat-quick linebacker/defensive end
Troy Guthrie, (5-11, 195) an elusive power back who gained over 1000 yards in '04
Ryan Smith, (6-1, 210), a fullback who does a fine impression of a bull in a china shop
Ellis Anderson, (5-10, 195), a running back who can flat out fly

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