By John Swofford, Recruiting Writer
There are many reasons why I prefer college football to the pro game. The rivalries, the passion, the pride, the connection of the institution to the fan, etc. All of this makes for an exciting season. But one of the greatest things the college game has to offer is the heart. Players that come from seemingly nowhere to make a huge impact on the game. That's what I like to see.
Last year there were a couple players like this. Some made huge impacts, while others were making big enough impacts to make a name for themselves. Robert Killebrew, Aaron Ross, Quan Cosby, and the great Jamaal Charles. Usually these players are hard to recognize early on. You may not recognize their name, but their talent is lurking like 54b at a UT softball game when the Cat is pitching. Robert Joseph may not be a household name, but he has the talent to become one. At least in the UT circles.
You may not be able too find many articles on the man with two first names very easily, but that's because he was so solid on his commitment with Texas that all of the talk shifted to players where there was a question as to where they would go. Combine that with the fact that three of his games were cancelled due to hurricanes, and there wasn't much to talk about. Don't let that fool you. RJ is very talented. At 6'2" 190, he's got great size for a DB. And he's pretty quick with a 4.5 40. Personally, I'd like to see that time come down a little, but I couldn't beat him so I can't complain.
As a D-Back, he may not see a lot of playing time early because of the depth at the position, but he can see a lot playing time later in the year if he shows that he can compete at the college level. Where he can make his mark is in the special teams. Last year, Aaron Ross had a stellar year returning kicks. I expect him to move more to a cover role this year, making room for someone to step up for the Special Teams Unit. RJ returned a lot of kicks in high school so he has some experience. And with the emphasis put on Special Teams, this creates a great environment for a guy like Robert to excel.
All in all, the stars line up for players like RJ. Being versatile allows him to fill roles that are more in need. By doing so many things for the team, he's put himself in a position to gain experience quickly. As good as freshmen can be, the one knock on them is usually experience. Take that out of the equation and Robert Joseph will be an immediate impact player.