Long Beach Poly (Calif.) defensive back Vincent Joseph took his third official visit of the year to Oregon this past weekend and the visit was his best yet. Joseph said he's now down to two schools with one of the two being a school he's still waiting on an offer from.
Joseph, 5-9, 180 pounds is one of the premier corners in the West region. He already took visits to Washington State and Colorado but said the trip to Eugene was incredible, even though he came close to not ever making it.
"Saturday Terrence (Austin) and I got picked up at my house at 4:45 in the morning," Joseph said. We flew into Portland and the plan was to fly in to Eugene with just a short little layover. Unfortunately, they said the airport in Eugene was so foggy, that they weren't going to let anyone fly in the rest of the day. So Terrence and I were calling everyone we knew and calling all the coaches but of course they had a game to prepare for so we couldn't reach any of the coaches.
"We did some research and found out that we could take an Amtrak train for $21 into Eugene so we were going to do that but then we checked our wallets and found out we were like $10 short. So we were just about to go to the front desk and ask if we could just fly back home to LAX when Don Pellum called asking where we were.
"We told him what was going on and he said he would arrange to have a car pick us up and drive in to Eugene. We got to the stadium about 15 minutes before game time and even though it was so close to kickoff, DP (Don Pellum) still met us outside and walked us in to the stadium. From there, the trip was incredible and I had the best time I could imagine.
"The crowd was awesome, I think I heard they set a civil war record for attendance that day and the team was real impressive. They were wearing their new jerseys and I loved them, they were the sweetest jerseys I've ever seen but that's Oregon, they always get all the sweet new stuff because they're so tight with Nike.
"Afterwards, we toured the campus a little, mostly the football facilities and I've never seen anything like it. The weight room was incredible, the locker room, oh my gosh. Everything from the stadium down to the coaches and how classy all the coaches are, it was just way better than I could ever have expected.
"Walter Thurmond was my host and Terrence knew him a little because he ran hurdles against him in high school. So we all hung out together along with Dennis Dixon, Terrence Whitehead, Jaison Williams and a couple of other guys. The coaches were telling them, 'now show them a good time but you better stay out of trouble.' It was all in fun and we had a good time but didn't do anything crazy or anything. We played play station of course and then went to a few party's later on but it was all pretty mellow and like I said, it was the perfect trip for me.
"On top of that, the secondary loses a lot of defensive backs so I could compete for playing time right away. They have a great program, I mean they're 10-1 and I love the coaches. I didn't think it was possible that anyone could dress better than DP but after seeing Coach Campbell, I don't know, I think he may have him beat. It's like those two need to have a dress off or something because those are two cool cats.
"Oregon even has my major, which is Forensics. A lot of schools don't have it but I got to talk to some people in that department and I like what they have to say. My grandfather was a cop so it kind of rubbed off on me and I've always been intrigued by fingerprints and things like that."
Joseph said he could commit right now to the Ducks but he said a part of him still wants to hold out a little longer for his dream offer.
"Yeah, I 'm still going to wait a little longer to see if USC will offer," Joseph said. "I'll tell you what though, after seeing Oregon, I think I may have seen the best place for me. USC is such a dominant program and Coach Carroll is a defensive genius who specializes with the defensive backs so that's why I'm so in to them. I'm going to make my announcement between Oregon and USC at the CaliFlorida Bowl (Dec. 31) but if SC hasn't offered a week before the game, I'm going to Oregon."
Joseph was set to visit Washington this coming weekend but said he's done taking visits.
"There is no point in me checking out any other places," Joseph said. "There is no way anyone can top Oregon when it comes to the coaches, the facilities and just the overall package they have. I'm down to those two schools, Oregon and USC and I won't be talking with anyone else for now on."