Senior Mitch Joseph Savors His LSU Career
With third and goal on the Florida two-yard line early in the fourth quarter, the top-ranked Tigers were looking to put the finishing touches on an October 8 win against the 17th-ranked Gators. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson received the shotgun snap, started toward the line of scrimmage, stopped and threw a jump pass to senior tight end Mitch Joseph for the first touchdown reception of his career.
"The play before set it up, and right after we ran that play I looked at the sideline and saw coach signal it in," Joseph said. "I knew I had to stay focused, concentrate and execute the assignment. First I had to block the defensive end, and then run for the ball. I knew I was going to catch it. The pass was perfect."
However, this isn't the New Iberia, La. native's greatest LSU memory. As a true freshman during the 2007 season he witnessed his team win the national championship.
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"To win the national championship in my first year was an awesome experience," Joseph said. "The national championship and the jump pass for my first touchdown are memories I will never forget."
Because he is primarily used as a run-blocking tight end, Joseph doesn't get many balls thrown his way, but he is willing to do anything to help get this team back to the national championship game.
"When I need to block, I make sure I do my job right so we can move the ball down the field," Joseph said. "Everyone wants the ball, but I will do what it takes to help the team."
Joseph has been a key part to the LSU rushing attack over the past four years. He takes pride in the team having rushed for more than 2,000 yards in three of the past four seasons.
"To run the ball well we need to have good blockers," Joseph said. "Allowing the running backs to get a lot of yards during the game is a great accomplishment for both the offensive line and tight ends. I take pride in that, because we are making holes for him."
Fellow tight end Deangelo Peterson's injury at the beginning of the 2010 season allowed Joseph to step up his role. He proved himself in the season opener against North Carolina as he was second on the team with a career-high three catches for 41 yards. He was on his way to a stellar season before a leg injury sidelined him against Mississippi State. An impressive amount of work was needed to get back onto the field.
"I trained and worked hard to get my full range of motion back," Joseph said. "I was put back in slowly to get a feel of the game again. It was one of my first injuries, and it was on my mind for a while because I didn't want to reinjure it."
The lessons learned and the memories established will stick with him after he leaves LSU, and he will never forget the friends he has made.
"When I first came here the only person I knew was Josh Dworaczyk because we went to the same high school," Joseph said. "I met Alex Russian, and we became good friends. We lived in the West Campus Apartments as freshmen and we would always go eat and go out. After I leave here I'll have a lot of memories from the past five years and being around all the guys who came through here. We're going to have a relationship after football and LSU for a long time.
"You get so close to the people you play with. You become family, and they turn into your real brothers.
I would do anything for them and I will always have their backs. No matter what they need I will always be there to help them."