Ed Farrell

Sharpsville High rising senior Joe Joseph put up some impressive numbers during several recent visits to scholastic football combines.

Joseph competed in combines in Chicago (Nike), Akron (Next Level), Boston (Atlantic Coast), and Tampa (Southeast High), and also was invited to compete in the prestigious Midwest Elite Combine in Indianapolis. However he did not attend due to a prior commitment to the invitation-only Southeast Combine. The Atlantic Coast Combine also is by invitation only — whereby athletes are required to complete an application for acceptance — and he foresaked Sharpsville High’s prom in order to compete in it.

Each combine administers various tests, but the core group includes: 40-yard dash, bench press (at both 185 and 150 pounds), vertical jump, standing broad jump, 20-yard pro agility drill, 60-yard shuttle, and 3-cone L drill. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Joseph’s best scores were: 4.7 40-yard dash; 22 repetitions bench-pressing 185 pounds (32 reps at 150 pounds); 28-inch vertical jump; 9-foot, 2-inch standing broad jump; 4.35 seconds in the 20-yard pro agility drill; 12.1-second 60-yard shuttle, and 7.3 seconds in the 3-cone L drill.

Joseph, who played linebacker and tight end last season for the Blue Devils of veteran mentor Paul Piccirilli, tested as a strong safety at the combines, and his 4.35-second clocking in the 20-yard pro agility drill was the fastest at the Akron-based combine where he ranked 7th overall. Also, his bench-presses ranked him 1st and 2nd, respectively (among safeties and cornerbacks) at the Southeast High and Atlantic Coast combines, and his total combined scores ranked him among the top 7 at his position in a 98-competitor field.

Since March Joseph has been working under the tutelage of former University of Pittsburgh and Cleveland Browns strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris. According to information from Joseph’s father Joe, Morris’ assessment of the younger Joseph included a letter of recommendation, which in part read, “In all my years of training athletes, including professionals, Joe is without a doubt one of the most dedicated and toughest. He has never missed a day of training in 12 months. He represents what athletes should be.”

A 3-year football and wrestling letterman at Sharpsville, Joseph tallied 2 TDs last season on an 80-yard interception return (Conneaut Lake) and 60-yard pass reception from quarterback P.J. O’Connor in a District 10 Class A playoff win over Fairview. He also finished 5th, 4th and 4th, respectively, in the section, district and regional wrestling championships at 189 pounds. He also is a member of the school’s student council, founded the school’s Power-Lifting Club, and serves as a junior councilman for the Borough of Sharpsville.

According to his father, Joseph is intending to continue his education and athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Ed Farrell is assistant sports editor for The Herald