Karl Joseph played 890 of last seasons 992 snaps, plus his regular job covering punts. He just didn’t come out of games very much, and indeed, at all, throughout his freshman season. So that’s one pretty good explanation for why he led the team in tackles. Consider, too, that he himself was pretty good and that WVU’s defense was not and that the latter contributed to ranking No. 14 nationally in solo tackles.
WVU needed Joseph and Joseph wanted to play, so no one complained. Joseph did battle a case of the niggles throughout the season and needed more ice and more treatment as the games piled up, but he actually started and finished the season at pretty much the same weight.
He’s 10 pounds heavier now — this is noticeable muscle mass — and he’s again gearing up to play a ton of snaps, though he admits a need for what others desire: Depth.
“I think so but that’s on the coaches whether they take me out or not,” Joseph said. “I don’t really ask them to take me out.”
So much so that Joseph said he can’t remember ever asking to come out of a game. That might not change and it’s plausible Joseph’s playing time will remain consistent. K.J. Dillon played just a little last season and a handful of freshmen will get a look when the Mountaineers return to camp early next month. Joseph, though, would rather stay on the field as much as possible and worry about finding ways to maintain a high level of performance.
“It’s very hard, especially with the high tempo offenses in the league,” Dillon said. “But the strength coaches make sure we’re in shape and in good condition. Right now, I feel like I could play as many snaps as I need to.”