WVU’s Joseph leads by example

West Virginia University safety Karl Joseph, despite having played only one collegiate season, has already garnered one of the top preseason honors for the Mountaineers.

His photos are appearing on promotional schedule cards and posters being handed out and displayed around the state. Most people have to wait until their senior season to achieve such a lofty status, and it’s not one Joseph thinks about.

“I really haven’t done much,” he said during a break between summer workouts. “I still have to prove myself.”

After recording a team-best 104 tackles and intercepting a team-high two passes, Joseph is being considered one of the team’s defensive leaders. Don’t think that status has escaped the eyes of his fellow Mountaineers.

“He’s carrying himself differently,” defensive lineman Will Clarke said. “He’s very, very humble, and he’s very hard-working.

Joseph, who enrolled for the spring semester of 2012 just to get a jump on his Mountaineer career, said he prefers to be one who leads by example. But he admits that is often not the case, often getting into his teammates’ faces and slapping them on the back in an excited fashion.

“I (try to) play my role, do my job,” he said. “I don’t like to talk too much. But when I get on the field, it just happens. It’s just natural.”

And though surprising, it’s often appreciated by the more seasoned members of the unit.

“As an older person on defense, you like that,” Clarke said. “He handled himself like an upperclassman. He lets us know he is there with us, that he is one of the 11 guys out there.”