"His best football is still in front of him. He’s one of the most dynamic kids I’ve ever coached. His length – he’s got this incredible wingspan and he’s got this great ability to get off blocks and make plays. You can do anything you want with him.
When I got there two years ago, they had him on the defensive line. He’s an amazing rusher. He’s the best edge-rusher I’ve ever coached, for sure, in 21 years. He has the ability to get around the edge with some of the best that you’ll see. The great thing about him with his length and his athleticism, you can put him out there as an outside backer.
He doesn’t weigh a ton, but the way he uses every inch of his body and every pound – he’ll destroy people who are bigger and stronger. They outweigh him by 50 or 60 pounds, but he knows how to use his body. So, he’s able to get off blocks and make plays that way or you can put him in space. He takes two steps and covers five yards.Two years ago, he had a ton of picks. This year, people didn’t really throw to his side.
He’s going to be one of the best players they get in that recruiting class for sure, I’d say. He’s going to be a great Volunteer."
-- Mitch Henghold, North Cobb assistant coach
HOW JOSEPHS FITS IN WITH THE VOLS?
Josephs has been an impact player at the prep level. Lining up on the edge, he displays great explosion off the line of scrimmage. His hands are active and he takes on blocks the correct way – keeping separation to know where the ball is. From there, Josephs does a great job of shedding the blocker and making the play.
He’s versatile, too. Josephs primarily lines up in a two-point stance to rush the quarterback, but he also backs up to a traditional linebacker spot at times and even lines up outside of the box often. He's experienced in dropping into coverage.
His strength is his motor and he makes a lot of tackles with that backside pursuit. The new Vol commit does a nice job of splitting double teams with a tight end or H-back lined up behind the tackle. He also sets the edge and forces everything back inside on run plays.
Josephs possesses all the tools you want in an edge player. Now it’s up to Tennessee to fine-tune those tools to get him SEC-ready. It also wouldn’t hurt to add on another 10-15 pounds.
WHAT DOES A JOSHUA JOSEPHS COMMITMENT MEAN FOR TENNESSEE?
With the commitment, Josephs becomes the first true ‘LEO’ in the class. Kalib Perry is capable of playing the position as well – and certainly has the size – but it’s unclear on what Tim Banks has in store for the Georgetown, Ky. Native as of now. Elijah Herring could also play the position, but the Volunteer State native could play inside as well.
The ‘LEO’ in Banks’ defense gets after the quarterback. Tyler Baron and Byron Young play that position while interchanging between two-point and three-point stances, sometimes even dropping into coverage. The position is important in the run game but it’s vital in pass-rush.
Tennessee likely returns its top-three at the position for next season in Baron, Young and Roman Harrison – but it needs even more production. The Vols would like to play two at one time in certain packages, so more quality pass-rushers are needed. It’s also worth noting that the current roster has only those three at the LEO position.
With Josephs joining the class, Tennessee continues its push for fellow LEO and Charlotte, N.C. native, James Pearce. The Early Signing Period is now just weeks away and the Vols are hoping this commit sparks the flame to the finish line.
Solid pick-up. Would be a 4 star across the board if he weighed a little more.
Runs very well. Is fantastic at using his hands to shield and disengage from blocking linemen. Will cause a lot of trouble for opposing linemen because of this leading to some holding calls in the future. Solid tackler as well. Could play on special teams early, but could use a red shirt year to put about 30 pounds of quality gym weight on.