Joseph Logging Time At Safety

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Dom Joseph had one interception as a dime back in 2009.

When it comes to the Virginia secondary, one theme has popped up frequently about the safety position. UVa always seems to be searching for a player with good ball-hawking skills plus the speed and ability to cover a lot of ground. A centerfielder type to be more specific. Who better than a former baseball player to try the role?

Dom Joseph , a former baseball standout at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia, is training at free safety this spring. The redshirt junior said, “I’m just trying to learn everything the best I can and have fun.” Joseph previously played cornerback at Virginia, but the safety position needed a boost with Corey Mosley rehabbing from offseason surgery and potential fifth-year player Matt Leemhuis not returning; senior Vic Hall handled some safety duties late last season as well.

Given Joseph’s athletic ability and cornerback experience, UVa safeties coach Anthony Poindexter said it seemed like a good time to try him at safety.

“We’re a little bit light there and him being a bigger body and being able to do a few jobs, I thought it was a natural move for him,” Poindexter said. “I’m looking to see as the spring develops how well he adjusts to playing it. So far I’m happy with how he’s doing.”

At 6’1″, 195 pounds, Joseph does bring a taller frame to the defensive backfield – Mosley and Rodney McLeod , who played the majority of the snaps at safety last season, are both listed at 5’10” on the roster. While Joseph adds some height to the position, he doesn’t sacrifice speed; both of his parents ran track at Temple.

Still, there’s plenty to learn about the position’s nuances for the Pennsylvania native. Joseph dabbled at the safety spot for his high school when the team went to zone, but it’s “nothing like this” he admitted with a grin.