Cougs tied at the top for Joseph

<b>WASHINGTON STATE was the first to offer Vincent Joseph, the lock down cornerback out of Long Beach Poly High. Another Pac-10 school followed suit recently and a third is charging hard after the playmaker.

Long Beach Poly is -- again -- stacked with seniors with potential Division IA talent for 2005 and Joseph is right at the top of the list. The Cougs are currently tied at the top of his list with two other Pac-10 schools.

The three schools recruiting Joseph the hardest right now are WSU, Oregon and Cal.

Washington State was first to offer the lockdown corner back at the beginning of the spring. Oregon came through with their offer about two weeks ago, and Cal has recently stepped up their recruitment of the 5-9.5, 185-pound Jackrabbit.

"Those are my three frontrunner schools right now," said the always engaging Vincent. "They're the ones I'm talking to most."

THE STAR CORNER just returned from a NIKE camp this past weekend and although he preformed well, Vincent thought he could have done better. He saw limited action against two of the stars of the camp, fellow Poly teammates and wide receivers Terrence Austin and Travon Patterson.

LB Poly players generally try not to compete each other at camps and combines, preferring to go up against outside competition. Vincent said they have plenty of battles in practice without also going head to head during the spring and summer camps.

Joseph is enjoying the recruiting process and while he doesn't know the timing on how it will play out, he said he can see himself making a verbal commitment before his senior season.

"It's going real, real well," said Joseph of his recruitment. "I'm not sure but I think I'll have my decision maybe before the season starts."

TRACK IS CURRENTLY is the primary athletic focus for Joseph these days with school, followed by practice until dinnertime, then homework again at night filling up most of his time. Earlier this spring, Joseph called up coach Bill Doba and talked football with the head man of the Cougs but since he started running track, he hasn't had as much free time.

"Washington State is a big favorite," Joseph told CF.C back in early March. "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.

Joseph is part of a Poly track team many consider the frontrunner to capture the state title in 2005.

He hopes to head to one more combine at UCLA later this spring but track commitments might preclude that.

Joseph will be in Philadelphia next week to participate in the 111th annual Penn relays. Earlier this year in the 4x200, Vincent, Patterson, and sophomores Bryshon Nellum and Isaiah Green set the national indoor record in a blazing 1:26.09, shattering the previous mark of 1:26.90 set by Camden High of New Jersey.

Competing in various sprints and also trying his hand at the long jump this season, Vincent runs a sub-11 100-meters (personal best of 10.56)

But on the gridiron and apart from his sheer speed, it's his ability to close and stick to receivers that makes him a top corner, some of which was on display at the NIKE camp this weekend. For 2005, Lara said Joseph could also return kicks and even line up in the slot on offense for Poly.

"He's been one of our best cover guys, one on one, by far," said Lara. "He's some kind of athlete."

Vincent Joseph profile

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