Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star like Nadab Joseph might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
When Deion Sanders left the Atlanta Falcons, he returned as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and showed out with a big game. He called the Georgia Dome his house when he met with reporters afterward.
Nadab Joseph, a smooth 4-star DB from Miami, can make a play or two like that. But he also wants to build bridges and stadiums, too. He aims to study to be an architect in college.
He’s great with numbers and is a rare foster child that’s grown into elite prospect status as the nation’s No. 20 safety for 2018. Georgia is chasing after him hard at this time.
Joseph is committed to LSU, but when he told reporters at Nike’s “The Opening” regional in Miami this weekend that he was just “82 percent committed” to LSU, those words did not ring hollow.
The 6-foot-2, 181-pound prospect knows his numbers. So when he says something like that, it was calculated and he was mindful of what that meant.
“I’m with LSU right now,” he said. “Committed. It is like an 82 percent commitment there. So right now I am just chilling. So it is like whoever sticks out and makes me go ‘Dang, well they have got this’ or ‘this school does not have this’ will really catch my attention.”
There are two things at work here: 1) He committed to LSU back under the old staff. That was in June of 2016 to play for Les Miles. 2) His recent interest in UGA was sparked by a recent “Junior Day” visit. That has a lot to do with the “82 percent” number.
Why “82 percent” then?
“Well, when I see (LSU defensive backs coach) Corey Raymond I go ‘Yeah, that’s my man. That’s my dog’ and he’s my family,” he said. “I’m not going to look at anybody else like that. So it is like we are real tight and we are there where we need to be. But at the end of the day if he cares for me and really understands there is a better situation for me somewhere else then that will just be it.”
Nadab Joseph’s interest in Georgia
Joseph rated as the top athlete via the “Sparq” rating at Nike’s Miami regional for its summer “The Opening” prospect gala. That’s saying something given the athletes in South Florida.
When asked if there was a certain school that impacted the “82 percent” figure, he quickly named Georgia.
“Georgia for sure,” Joseph said before pausing. “And then FSU.”
He even took to the field to diagram how close things were. LSU was in the lead. Georgia was about six yards behind the Tigers.
“But they are closing fast,” he said. “They’ve gained a lot of ground.”
Florida State was another six yards behind Georgia.
The Bulldogs have clearly gotten his attention. He said that UGA will definitely get an official visit this fall.
“They have got a lot of new stuff,” Joseph said. “I saw it all and I was really like ‘Dang’ as I took it all in. They’ve got a new weight room coming. The inside of that indoor? Have you seen that yet? Everybody needs to.”
He then used his hands to draw attention to the structure he was standing in. That was the indoor facility used by the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. He then made a comparison.
“It is way better than this place,” he said. “They’ve got a surround sound system. They’ve got a big screen. They’ve got some instant replay. They seem to have it all.”
Did he see himself playing at Georgia one day on that trip?
“I thought about it,” he said. “Then they let us put on that uniform. I was like ‘Woo, this thing is nice.’ I like that red and black now. Those could be my colors. Purple used to be my favorite color. Used to.”
He said that the Bulldogs are now “definitely really up there” in terms of his decision.
“They’re showing a lot of love,” Joseph said. “They are really coming up. If they keep showing the love that they are and they are going to be right here with LSU by the time I leave in January. Who knows then?”
He mentioned a specific vibe he took in at Georgia.
“The coaches told me there is no beef between anybody on the team,” he said. “Everybody is cool with one another and I saw that for myself. That’s like me. I just go with the flow. I’m that type of a dude. Georgia seems very chill but everyone gets in there and works hard. That’s what I am about and what I’m looking for.”
Getting to know Nadab Joseph
Joseph loves to draw. He actually enjoys his interaction with reporters more than most. He sends questions back their way.
It is hard not to notice the tattoo on his left arm.
“This is Jesus trapped inside of my arm,” Joseph said. “He’s trying to break out but what he sees in this world he does not like it. We are all doing bad stuff and we are sinning. So Jesus is crying.”
When profiling Joseph, it is also important to note the relationships with a man he calls his “coach-slash-Dad” that’s around him.
That’s Victor Evans. Evans was his defensive coordinator last season at Miami’s Edison High. He is now the head coach.
He has a connection to the Georgia staff.
“I’m familiar with Coach (Kirby) Smart and coach (James) Coley,” Evans said. “Coach Coley is Miami. We all know him down here. I know Coach Smart and (UGA defensive coordinator) coach (Mel) Tucker because my cousin Ronnie Harrison is at Alabama. So he had a chance to work with both of those guys previously at Alabama. So he knows what those guys are all about already. He likes it. So we have a trust factor about those guys because we already know them.”
He shared how he thinks Joseph feels about Georgia.
“He really likes Georgia because it is still in the SEC and he can still play big-time football,” Evans said. “Overall he really likes it. He can get coached by one of the best at his position in Coach Tucker and then have Coach Smart around there, too. Coach Smart has an emphasis on that side of the ball, too.”
Then there’s Coley.
“That relationship is big,” Evans said. “Even before recruiting Nadab we go back previous years to his Florida State days. That’s a big plus for Georgia and those chances with Nadab.”
Evans said LSU was a school which jumped on Joseph before things blew up big. He appreciates and is aware of how well the Tigers haven’t wavered in their interest level despite the changes among that coaching staff.
He still talks to Corey Raymond about twice a week, but Georgia is now recruiting him just as hard as that SEC West program.
The Bulldogs see Joseph contributing everywhere from safety to receiver. Coley can’t help but be interested in him for his side of the ball.
“They basically just want him on their campus and will figure out where he wants to play from there,” Evans said.
As stated before, Joseph is a foster child. He stayed with a foster parent until Evans reached out to assist her.
“I help her keep him straight because he is basically in a house with girls and no father figure in the house,” Evans said. “He stays with me now. I’ve taken him in to try and help out with his development. Because he is a good kid. A humble kid. He’s a city kid and he’s a little rough around the edges but inside that is a really good kid.”
The last word on Joseph
What do I think here? I think that Georgia has opened his eyes. That relationship with multiple coaches at UGA that was already in place will augment the program’s chances, too.
He’s just starting to expand his decision process and check out more schools. He spent some time with the coaches at Georgia and felt comfortable there. That is now another attractive option.
Joseph mentioned that “82 percent” strength rating for his current commitment to LSU, but he has yet to bring up any de-commitment discussion as of yet. That’s a big testament to the good work that LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond has done over a long period of time since he’s been committed.
For now, Georgia is a definite contender in that “flip” discussion. I just don’t see it happening anytime soon. The Bulldogs also aren’t alone in their pursuit. Florida State was mentioned previously, but Penn State is also checking in on Joseph and hoping for a visit, too.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.