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Great Expectations for Joseph

There’s plenty of competition at multiple positions for West Virginia this preseason, but one coach who will not have to make many tough decisions is safeties coach Tony Gibson.

Tony Gibson watched Joseph play plenty last season.

“We don’t want guys to get comfortable with the starting job, but the writing is kind of on the wall,” Gibson said. “(Karl Joseph and Darwin Cook) have the most game experience, really the only game experience in that room.”

The experience is obviously big, but Gibson also says the play-making ability of the duo is impressive, particularly Joseph, who had caught the former Arizona assistant’s attention all the way across the country.

“I thought ‘wow, that kid is a pretty good player,’” said Gibson, recalling watching WVU play before his own games out west. “Every time I’d watch West Virginia, you’d see him make more plays, big hits and now I have the opportunity to come coach him.”

Those big plays resulted in 104 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and a First Team Freshman All-American nod from CBSSports at season’s end.

With so much accomplished in his first season on campus and no real threat to his starting position, one might think that Joseph would become complacent, or that he’s reached his ceiling. If he has, he’s certainly not showing it, says Gibson.

“I talk to him about being a good player,” said Gibson. “And the first words out of his mouth are ‘coach, I don’t want to be good; I want to be great.”

Mountaineer fans certainly hope that’s the case this season.

EerSports' Alissa Hudak contributed to this article.

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