NFL draft: Conversation with WR Hunter Joseph
Honestly, unless you are a football nerd like I am you might not of heard of him. You see it every year, little known prospect (Hunter Joseph), from a little known college (Otterbein University), chasing his dream of being in the NFL. Despite the greatest wide receiver in league history (Jerry Rice), coming from a “small school” (Mississippi Valley State University), the constant narrative is “it is to big of a jump in talent, from a small school to the NFL”. To that I scratch my head. Sitting down with Joseph, I asked him his take on the small school talk?
“Like you said earlier, the greatest wide-out and arguably greatest football player ever, was from a small school. I am not saying I am him, don’t get me wrong, but he came out of this lesser known team, to rule be the best. Really, even with that said….I try not to think about it, I mean, I have heard it a lot the last few years, and especially the last few months. I get it, I understand that people have their ideas of what a ‘small school” player is. but honestly to that I have nothing to say really. I will let my play speak for itself, I can’t control what people think or what people say, but I can control my actions and my responses to that or any conversation, negative or positive.”
At 5’11 195 pounds, he is built to play in the slot, but has the skill set to play outside. He plays a lot faster than his 4.5 forty time suggests, as he runs very clean routes and gets in and out of breaks quickly. Speaking with a scout (whom asked to remain anonymous) who had recently watched the former Otterbein Cardinal, work out , I asked him to share his initial thoughts?
“If I had one word to describe Hunter Joseph, it would “solid”. I don’t use the word lightly and some may think that is a simple way of describing a prospect, but in my opinion it is a real compliment. He doesn’t do any one thing great but he does a lot well, he adds value on special teams, as a gunner, and a fill in kick returner. When you watch the tape you see a guy who can do a lot with the ball in his hands. He is what? 195- 200 pounds? he’s thick, strong base to him so I believe he could be used all over the field. He could probably take a hand off on a sweep or something like it, catch passes out of the backfield, causing a match up issue for the defense. He can play in the slot and has the speed to pull away in coverage . I loved watching him in his work outs. Prior to, I had only seen a few minutes of game tape on him, and got most of my info from other football guys. But he impressed me, and as long as the opportunity isn’t to big for him, if and when he gets a chance, he could flourish. It is a big jump to the NFL, but physically I don’t think it will be to much for him, it is the mental part of it he will have to really hone in on, like most prospects.”
Currently, the Eagles have a strong core of wide-outs on the team, but adding a young prospect like Joseph could go a long way in building for the future. His quick twitch ability and long speed could be a welcomed addition to the super bowl champs.
“Playing for the Eagles would be amazing, honestly just getting an opportunity to show who I am and who I can be, would be amazing. I know I can help on special teams, I know I can help at wide-out, I know I could be a help in general. Don’t be fooled by the “small school” talk, I know I have the skill set, the tools to be a contributor in this league. All I need is an opportunity, one real chance and I can show them what I have. I love the hard work and I will continue to do that….work hard.”