Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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32 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY PATRICK ENGEL T he official characterization of the move is "coaching suggestion." At least, that's how Brandon Jo- seph describes it now, nearly six years later. Steve Huff's account con- firms it's an accurate classification. Huff would not have given Joseph the side eye or put him in the doghouse had he turned down a proposal to move to safety because he wanted to stay at quarterback or go all-in at wide receiver. Joseph was still a rising 10th-grader at College Station (Texas) High, after all. As Huff recalls, he led the junior varsity team to 10 wins the prior year as its quar- terback. He had time to make an impact on offense before he graduated. Joseph stiff-arming the idea, though, might have at least left Huff a bit puz- zled. Huff told him switching to safety would likely allow him to start on var- sity as a sophomore. To pass that up with hopes for greener pastures on of- fense is one massive gamble. At first, Joseph wanted to take it. "He was a little hesitant, because he had always been an offensive player by trade," said Huff, College Station's head coach. But he only balked for a moment. Jo- seph returned, gave Huff a hearty, "Yes, sir," and that was that. "It ended up working out," Joseph said. To put it mildly. Joseph recalled that story from the second floor of the Irish Athletic Cen- ter one mid-January afternoon, about two weeks after choosing Notre Dame as his new home. The former North- western All-American hit the transfer portal Dec. 30 after three seasons with the Wildcats, and when Irish head coach Marcus Freeman called him that night, he eyed Notre Dame as his next stop. He made it official Jan. 8 and enrolled two days later. HITTING RESET Had Joseph's career remained on a linear upward path from 2020, he might not be here at all. He'd have built on his All-America season, declared for the NFL Draft and begun training for it somewhere warm. Instead, he's braving another Mid- west winter and playing another college season. He has three years of eligibility left, but if this pairing meshes, he might A WISE 'COACHING SUGGESTION' How a 10th-grade position switch put new Notre Dame safety Brandon Joseph's All-America path in motion Joseph intercepted nine passes in the last two seasons at Northwestern and was a consensus All- American in 2020. PHOTO COURTESY NORTHWESTERN

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