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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Terry Joseph Notebook

February 8, 2018

Notre Dame safeties coach Terry Joseph spoke to the media for the first time since accepting the job a few weeks ago. Joseph recapped National Signing Day and explained a little bit about his history on Wednesday.

Why Notre Dame: 
“When you have an opportunity to come to Notre Dame as a coach or player, you look at it as a chance to compete on a national stage. If you take care of business on the field, you’re always going to be in the conversation of the playoffs. 

“As a coach, it was a career-changing opportunity I couldn’t turn down.” 

On what he knew about Notre Dame: 
“Growing up in New Orleans and the South, most of the games you’re watching on TV are SEC games, but you always had the national game, which was always Notre Dame. You watched those games and you kind of know that it’s a special place.

“Being at North Carolina last year, we played against them. You saw a team that really played to its strengths. They had a great offensive line, and I thought on defense they did what they could do with the players they had and they won a lot of ball games. 

“It was something I really wanted to be a part of.” 

On Signing Day scramble after being hired:
“I’ve done it before in my coaching career. This year was different with the December Signing Day. Most of the class was already signed at the place I was leaving, and also they were signed at the place I was going to, so it gave me an opportunity to really settle in. 

“I got to go with the defensive coaches, evaluate the safeties and try to close on some guys, but also get a jump on next year’s class.” 

On safety group:
“Watching the games from last year, you saw a group that has a great deal of balance. You have a good number of seniors, juniors, sophomores and after today, we have some freshmen. We have great balance. 

“I thought a lot of guys played quality snaps. Going into the spring, it will be great to get evaluations of exactly where they are, and I can feel better about the guys we just signed. Going in 2019, I will know what our needs are as well. 

“Right now, it’d be hard to make a statement on what we need because I don’t really know what we have until we get out on the field.” 

On signee Derrik Allen:
“He was a guy we recruited a little bit at North Carolina. He committed to Notre Dame early, so it kind of ended the recruitment early because you knew he wasn’t going to decommit.

“He’s long and can make plays all over the field. As a junior, he played a little bit of corner, so you like his coverage skills. The sky is the limit with him because he can do anything he wants to do. He’s really a playmaker. 

“Just talking to him, he’s a kid that wants to compete and win at a high level. 

On signee Houston Griffith:
“He’s going to play corner for us, and we’ll see what he can do on the perimeter. He was a kid that we recruited at some different places.” 

On signee Paul Moala:
“I’ve just gotten to watch his film over the last few days. You see a guy who is an athlete, big and has a chance to be a physical ball player for us.” 

On the benefit of coaching at various levels of football:
“The big thing for me as a coach is that I want to be known as a great teacher. From coaching at the high school level, not only being a coach and a teacher in the classroom, it’s really helped me how I install and teach the guys concepts. I’ve used that experience in my career to my advantage. 

“From being a GA at LSU, then going to Louisiana Tech, we didn’t have all the extra support staff, so you took on a lot of different roles. It helped me because I had to do things besides coach my position and recruit my area. 

“It made me appreciate the opportunities I got down the road. My minor league baseball career taught me about playing at every level.” 

On teaching role in high school:
“I was a Business Law and Economics teacher. It was good because it was the first time I had ever experienced the block class setup. You had an hour and 30 minutes, so it wasn’t sitting in your class and someone lectures for 50 minutes. It was more learning out of your seat and movement in the classroom.

“It was an all-boys school, so the guys and I took advantage of trying different things. Some guys learned better in different situations, so it gave me an advantage as a teacher to say ‘Not everyone learns the same way. Don’t be afraid to try different things.’” 

On baseball career: 
“Minor league baseball made me grow up a ton. It’s also one day at a time. You can be a superstar one day, and you can be on the waiver wire the next day. Traveling from town to town, not making a lot of money, it really made me appreciate all the opportunities I got later in life.”

On current roster:
“My goal is to watch the entire season and evaluate each guy. I’m halfway through and taking notes on every player. I’m meeting with them as much as I can to talk about where they think they are, where they want to go and how I can help them get there.

“Over the next few weeks, I think I’ll have a feel of what we have to do. Everyone knows we have to catch at least one interception as a safety group. I think it will be a safe play that we will catch more than zero.” 

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