The three-star prospect, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cypress Bay corner Boaz Joseph, picked the Huskers over Louisville and Kentucky.
And to hear Joseph's coach, Mark Guandolo, pitch his player, Nebraska may have plucked a prospect who makes a considerable splash.
“The kid's a specimen,” Guandolo said. “There's not a lot of corners his size. He can press you, and then he can run with you.”
Nebraska's press-man coverage scheme, Guandolo said, is why Joseph — whose first name is pronounced “Bose” — warmed to an NU offer so quickly, and why he turned down an official visit to Louisville, whose head coach — former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong — had come into Joseph's recruiting process in the past two weeks.
Husker defensive backs coach Terry Joseph had nudged his way into Boaz Joseph's field of vision in December, joining Wisconsin, Purdue and Missouri, among others, as schools that had offered. Boaz Joseph took his official visit to Lincoln Jan. 18. Guandolo, whose Cypress Bay team finished 12-3, said his player had “a good connection” with the coaching staff and players.
“Nebraska fits him as a defensive back,” Guandolo said.
None of the major local schools — Florida, Florida State, Miami — offered Joseph, Guandolo said, because Joseph struggled academically at the beginning of his junior year. He later made it clear, Guandolo said, that he wanted to leave the state. Alabama came close to offering at one point, the coach said. Joseph has now academically qualified to play next year, Guandolo said.
Joseph didn't have an interception last year, Guandolo said, “because guys couldn't ever get off the line against him.” He was selected third-team all-state in Florida's largest classification of football. Cypress Bay went on a surprising run in the 8A playoffs, reaching the final game before losing to Apopka 53-50.
Joseph is the 24th member of NU's 2013 class.
Our take: Nebraska wants tall, physical cornerbacks, and in Joseph, they have one. He might even be big enough to play safety in a pinch. Joseph became a coveted target after Jonathan Cook switched from Nebraska to Alabama, and star Mackensie Alexander declined to visit NU after he decommitted from Tennessee, where Husker coach Terry Joseph used to work. Back to Boaz: Highlight films show that Joseph probably needs some work on his ball skills and running with a wide receiver without getting too physical, but he sheds blocks well against the run and tackles OK. He lacks top-end recovery or reaction speed, so as he redshirts, look for Nebraska to work on his quickness and speed training.
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:
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Photo Credit: South Florida Sun Sentinel