Before the 2019 season kicked off, the Kentucky Wildcats made a huge addition in former Army All-American Kelvin Joseph.
The LSU Tigers transfer is a former top-50 recruit from the Class of 2018. Coming out of Scotlandville Magnet High School in Louisiana, the 6-3, 185-pound Joseph was offered by practically every major college program, including the Clemson Tigers, Oregon Ducks, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Auburn Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide.
Joseph chose to stay home and play at LSU, but after a year in Baton Rouge, he opted to find a new home to finish his college career. Once he was was in the portal, teams like Florida, Auburn and Mississippi State before he picked the Cats.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Joseph will sit out the 2019 season and be a redshirt sophomore when the 2020 season begins.
In the meantime, Joseph is doing his best to be an All-American-level payer...on the scout team.
“Probably be one of the better scout team players we’ve played against in a while with the recognition he’s had coming out of high school and coming from LSU,” wide receivers coach Michael Smith told the Courier-Journal. “We’re looking forward to getting him out on the field. … Once he’s in here, we’re going to get him running.”
Don’t mistake Joseph for a talented DB who likes to sit back and make plays in coverage. He’s also a fierce run defender
“He was fearless against the run, he would come down and fill and be physical,” 247 Sports recruiting guru Steve Wiltfong told the Herald-Leader. “ There was a little bit of rawness to him but there was a lot of upside.”
Kentucky is coming off a 10-win season in which its defense was one of the best in the nation, thanks in large part to a talented secondary that now has three defensive backs currently on NFL rosters (Lonnie Johnson, Mike Edwards, Chris Westry), two of which were drafted.
Smith hopes the addition of Joseph will help build off that success in the secondary and pave the road for bigger things on the recruiting trail going forward.
“It’s been a really good opportunity to just kind of build upon (the draft),” Clinkscale said. “That’s kind of got recognition from a lot of guys throughout the country. I think those guys, they paved the way. Now we’ve got to build on it and we’ve got to really fill the gap with the guys that are here right now and then put a few pieces together like Kelvin and a couple of other guys in the future to just continue to go in the right direction.”
We’ve already seen this play out with fellow highly-touted LSU transfer Mannie Netherly considering UK. And then there’s four-star defensive back Joel Williams, who’s been widely expected to eventually pick Alabama, is also now taking a harder look at UK following the addition of Joseph.
Even though he’ll have three seasons left to play at UK, Joseph has the kind of talent that could be good enough to leave for the NFL Draft long before his college eligibility expires.
Even so, Kentucky stands to have a very talented secondary in 2020 that should include Joseph, Davonte Robinson, Yusuf Corker, Tyrell Ajian, Stanley Garner, Moses Douglass and M.J. Devonshire. All of these players were four-star recruits in at least one recruiting service.