Lights, camera, action for Poly CB

ONE OF THE MORE compelling stories to follow this recruiting season has been that of Long Beach Poly's Vincent Joseph. Fresh off a stellar performance at the CaliFlorida Bowl, the 5-9 ½, 185-pounder -- rated among the nation's top 50 cornerbacks -- reaffirmed this week he won't announce his college choice until the cameras are rolling on ESPN a month from now. It appears he'll be picking up one of three logo hats, including Ol' Wazzu, on national television come the first Wednesday in February.

Will it be Oregon, USC or Washington State for Joseph? The answer doesn't look to come until Feb 1. Joseph reiterated he and Poly teammate Terrence Austin are sticking to their plan of announcing on ESPN on Signing Day.

"I'm going to end up waiting until ESPN," said Joseph.

The school the shutdown corner is hearing the most often from these days is Washington State. Kelly Skipper is recruiting the lockdown defensive back for the Cougs.

"It's been going well," said Joseph. "It's been mostly Washington State, and then Washington and USC."

Joseph went on to say Southern Cal's been busy with their bowl game, while he hasn't heard as much from Oregon for a while. Vincent was scheduled to trip to Washington this weekend but the UW coaches called Tuesday evening to say while they'd made a strong run late on Joseph, there are some other corners they're focusing on.

Joseph is in fine shape academically, with a solid GPA and having achieved qualifying scores on both the SAT and most recently, on the ACT.

THE CALI-FLORIDA BOWL, won by Florida 20-0, was played in a driving rainstorm and some of California's best athletes found themselves foundering in the muck and mud. Not Joseph.

He was disappointed in the loss, and the California offense may have been shut out and lost the purchase on the pigskin seven times, but Joseph had a great practice week on defense and special teams that continued right on through the game, abysmal conditions be damned.

Joseph made a wicked interception when he flashed some of that trademark speed and jumped a post pattern. Joseph, who had eight blocks (five field goals and three punts) over the course of Poly's season, made another one during the Bowl game despite the slippery, sodden track at Cal-Poly.

"I had a great game," said Joseph through a smile.

JOSEPH, WHO REGULARLY clocks in the 4.4 range in the 40, (he ran a 4.39 at USC this summer) also has tremendous make-up speed. A track standout with a sub-11 100-meters, his personal best time is a 10.56.

Earlier this year, fans in the Northwest got a taste of some of that speed when he came out of nowhere to chase down a Bellevue ballcarrier from the other side of the field, bad angle and all, to make a touchdown saving tackle.

Long Beach head man Raul Lara has coached some good ones out on the island over the years but says Joseph is in a class by himself.

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

Vincent Joseph profile

For a little more on Joseph's recruiting year, here's a story from earlier in the season.

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