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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Freshman File: Sebastian Joseph makes transition to three-technique

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: Tyler_Barto

PISCATAWAY — Sebastian Joseph, a true freshman with little experience to draw on as an interior linemen, is impressing as a three-technique.

Joseph primarily played defensive end in high school, which played a 4-3 without a tilted nose tackle like Rutgers'. It hasn't stopped Joseph from earning meaningful snaps at the three-technique, where a tackle lines up on the outside shoulder of a guard.
Sebastian Joseph seldom played tackle in high school,
but his natural ability could make him a quick study.
(Tyler Barto)

"I wasn't like a big tackle guy, but wherever they needed me to play I would play," Joseph said Saturday at the team's media day. "It is actually helpful because you get to play off each other in pass situations."

At 6-foot-4, Joseph is still learning to play with lower pad level to gain leverage against interior linemen. He says it's been one of position coach Jim Panagos' biggest teaching point, along with effectively using his hands to engage linemen.

IN PRINT: Sebastian Joseph, 18, has shown few moments of youth

"Offensive and defensive line is a simple game," Panagos said. "They're trying to get their hands inside the chest plate, and we're trying to get inside their chest plate. That's the most important thing: to be quick-twitch and get your hands inside. Once you have your hands inside an offensive lineman, you can win."

Panagos, 42, has taken on a cult-like following among Rutgers' defensive linemen. He fits the position's loud, demonstrative billing. He keeps his hands folded and stares intently ahead as he speaks.

RELATED: More from Rutgers' first scrimmage

"That's the players' job: to impress me and show me we can count on them," Panagos said.

The second-year coach says an eight-man d-line rotation is ideal, but he won't cap it there if numbers permit. His interior line is deep, but Joseph could play his way into a role.

  • "Welcome to college football" moment:  "It was Day 2 in pads. It was Marquise Wright and No. 61 (Bryan Leoni). They doubled me and I got too high."
  • 2012 stats (Stroudsburg, Pa.): 40 tackles, 17 tackles for loss
  • Defensive line rotation: three-technique, aligned with Daryl Stephenson at nose tackle

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