Vosean Joseph was one of a few Florida commits who had an SEC school pushing for a late flip in the 2016 recruiting cycle.
But at the conclusion of that trip, Joseph met with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and it didn’t go well.
“When a coach tries to recruit me as a player, I want him to at least know who I am,” Joseph said. “Nick Saban read my name off a piece of paper and was like, ‘OK, you’re Vosean Joseph, Miami Norland, 112 tackles, blah blah blah.’ He was reading everything off a paper in front of me. I wanted to say, ‘Coach, do you even know anything about me?’ He didn’t smile for nothing.”
“He made me uncomfortable and I was ready to get out of there,” Joseph said. “Obviously the man wasn’t interested in me.”
But Alabama assistant and Miami area recruiter Mario Cristobal apparently did want Joseph. He said turning down Cristobal was the hardest part of his recruitment.
“You could keep it real with him,” Joseph said of Cristobal. “At the end I was really thinking about Alabama, but after my visit there I told him I was going to stick with Florida. He just tried to make sure that’s what I wanted to do, and then he wished me the best of luck.
“I was kind of sad to tell him because he had been recruiting me hard, but (Florida linebackers) coach Randy Shannon had been recruiting way longer.”
Joseph told SEC Country he separated “real from fake” after visiting both Alabama and UF, choosing to ink with the Gators on signing day.
The following is a Q&A with Joseph in the sixth edition of our Florida recruiting rewind series.
Q: If you could give a junior ONLY one piece of advice about the recruiting process, what would it be?
A: “Just know the pros and cons of each school and take all your official visits. You need to weigh your options and really looking at everything.”
Q: What school came in second? What could they have done a little better?
A: “The University of Alabama. At that point in the process, there’s nothing they could have done. Alabama is a great school, but I had to make a choice that was best for me. If I would have went to Alabama, everybody knows if you’re a freshman there you have to wait a year to play. I wanted early playing time.”
Q: What was the most creative thing a school or coach did to get your attention?
A: “Syracuse. They made a big poster of me and put it in my room on my official visit. They also gave me a cookie cake with a picture of my face on it.”
Q: What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true?
A: “When I got the Alabama offer, everybody was saying I would go to there. I was like, ‘Yeah, OK.’ I already knew where I was going.”
Q: What’s the biggest secret you kept during the recruiting process?
A: “That I was sticking with Florida. I wasn’t going anywhere else.”
Q: What is the funniest thing any HEAD coach said to you during the entire recruiting process?
A: “It was South Carolina’s coach, Steve Spurrier. I went up there for a visit and he was like, ‘You’re my guy. We need you. We want you.’ He just kept saying it and I just laughed.”
Q: What was your biggest regret during the recruiting process?
A: “Not going on my last official visit. I wanted to visit the University of Maryland but the last weekend (in January) I had an all-star game, USA vs. Canada, so I couldn’t go.”
Q: What was the funniest story that happened on one of your recruiting trips?
A: “On my official at West Virginia, we went to this spot and some dude walked by us and just passed out right there on the floor. He must have had one too many drinks. We tried to help him up but he was too drunk.”
Q: Describe the impact of cost of attendance on your recruiting?
A: “Not really. If I school said I’d have like $400 extra dollars and I could play early, I’d go there over a school where I got $700 extra dollars but I had to wait to play. I’ll wait until I get to the league to make the real money.”
Q: Which school disappointed you the most during recruiting?
A: “Miami. I got an offer from them my 10th grade year when I went to camp, but the coach who offered me got fired and my offer was taken away. If you’re from Miami you really want to go to UM. That’s the dream school, and they never offered me again. They started hitting me towards the end with the new staff, but by that time I wasn’t interested anymore.”
Q: Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process?
A: “Alabama. If they offered me earlier, it might have been them. There’s a chance I could have went there.”
Q: How much negative recruiting was out there?
A: “There was one coach from Syracuse, I think it was the DB coach (Fred Reed). He’s not there anymore, but he told me I should look around at other schools because he knew Florida would pull my offer. I was like, ‘What?’ I told him that’s not happening and I stopped talking to him.”
Q: Which head coach of a team that you did not sign with was the nicest?
A: “Steve Spurrier. I liked him. He was a cool dude, man.”
Q: If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
A: “The dead periods. I want coaches to be able to hit players up any time and talk to them so we can build a bond. That’s important for me as a player.”