Gators LB Joseph impressive against LSU, named SEC Defensive Player of the Week

Florida Gators linebacker Vosean Joseph had a break-out performance on Saturday, collecting career high’s in tackles (14), tackles-for-loss (3.5) and sacks (2) against LSU.

The junior out of Miami has often been criticized throughout his career for leaving his gap in pursuit of the ball.

Against LSU, that was not the case at all.

Instead, he flew around, creating havoc against the Tigers’ offense. This season, Joseph is the Gators’ leading tackler with 42, including 6.5 for losses. He has also managed three sacks, two pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery.

Joseph earns two weekly honors after Saturday’s game

Joseph’s stats from this weekend caught the eye of both the SEC and the national media. He earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week and the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week for his play against LSU.

Head Coach Dan Mullen spoke highly of his junior linebacker on Monday at his press conference:

“I think what you’re starting to see is a guy that understands, ‘Hey, don’t lose how hard I play, don’t lose the speed I play with or the reckless abandon I play with out there on the field. But, I also have to understand I need to be in the right place at the right time and execute as well because if I just run around out of control, you’ll see big play after big play after big play hitting us,'” Mullen said.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham shared his thoughts on Monday as well, as to why he thought Joseph had so much success on Saturday: “I think it’s more of a comfort level, understanding what he needs to do in the defense,” Grantham said. “The guy’s really fast, he’s really a conscientious guy as far as wanting to perfect his craft and be a very good player at his position.”

Joseph’s tribute to Spikes

In UF’s 2008 matchup with LSU, Gator linebacker Brandon Spikes took an interception to the house, punting the ball into the south end zone stands. The moment is one that’s remembered by many who watched the game that day. When Joseph saw the video on Twitter, he knew he had to reenact it.

“I was like, I’m going to boot it. I’m gonna kick it. Brad got it, so I was happy for him, but he gave it to me so I’m going to kick it,” Joseph said.

Before the game, he wasn’t sure if he’d actually get the opportunity. That’s why when Brad Stewart’s pick-six ended up in the south end zone, he knew he had to kick it. Luckily for him, the 15-yard penalty that resulted from it didn’t hurt the team.

About Evan Lepak

- 23 - Sports Journalism - UF '20 - Gators, Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Magic - avid lover of pizza

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