Joseph: Hits will keep on coming

Florida Gators linebacker Vosean Joseph (11) clobbers Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback C.J. Beathard (16) during the Outback Bowl. Joseph: Hits will keep on coming

LSU quarterback Danny Etling getting blown up on the sideline inside the 1-yard line in Baton Rouge last November was easily the hit of the year by the Florida defense, a thunderous strike that sent Etling airborne and is still being replayed on social media.

But linebacker Vosean Joseph, the man who made the hit, was not all that impressed by it.

“Well, that was just like a regular play to me,” Joseph said Thursday. “That was really nothing.”

But there is more to come, he vows.

“Oh, yeah, a lot (more),” said the true sophomore from Miami. “This spring is going to be very big for me. They ain’t seen nothing yet. Trust me.”

Florida coaches and fans have seen enough of Joseph to get excited about his potential to become a big-time hitter and playmaker on the defense.

The hit on Etling was impressive, but it was much more than just that last season. Joseph played in all 13 games, and when the linebacking corps was rocked by injuries to starters Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone, Joseph stepped up and stepped onto the field, where he more than held his own as a true freshman.

He left a lasting final impression — six tackles, including a tackle for loss, in his first career start against Iowa in Florida’s 30-3 victory in the Outback Bowl.

“Everything is about patience,” Joseph said. “They say patience is a virtue. Coach (Randy) Shannon, he just kept telling us our time is coming, our time is coming. When JD went down, David Reese stepped up. I was justing waiting on my chance. My chance came and I just did my best.”

Opportunity is here again for Joseph. With last year’s three starters (Davis, Anzalone and Daniel McMillian) gone and Reese out for the spring with an injured arm, Joseph is in a position to nail down a starting role at weakside linebacker.

He’s attacking practice, the film room and the weight room with the same relentless effort that put him in a position to make the big hit on Etling in the Gators big win in Baton Rouge.

“When we’re practicing I play like I’m in a game,” he said. “I’m going to come at you 100 percent. The o-line know that. They come at me even before we even hit the field and say, ‘Vosean, are going to take it easy? No, I’m not taking it easy.’ I’m going to make everybody better and we’re just going to compete.”Joseph said he developed his tenacious mentality playing for former rapper-turned-football-coach Luther Campbell at Miami Norland High School.“When Coach Luke came to my high school, I realized everybody a dog,” he said. “We just started. … we really came from nothing, to now we’ve just got to ball out. Football is our only way. We’ve just got to do what we’ve got to do.”Joseph, who committed to the Gators early, was […]