Latoria Stewart thought her son was going to be a baseball player, but on National Signing Day, an emotional Kelvin Joseph signed official paperwork to play football at LSU.
“Being emotional just comes with it,” Joseph said. “We all had a dream that we wanted to sign one day. We didn’t know it would come true, and now we signed, so it’s a great feeling.
“I was just putting a smile on my momma’s face and she had a great feeling. It just made me feel good.”
The Scotlandville product was one of the most sought after players in the country and a top-rated defensive back.
As a senior, Joseph tallied 113 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss and three interceptions. He was twice named to the Louisiana 5A All-State team and was invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American game in January.
The choice of where to play collegiate football was something Joseph said he prayed about, but he couldn’t pass up on the chance of becoming a “hometown legend” in Baton Rouge.
“This is where we are from,” said Joseph, who chose LSU over offers from Alabama, Auburn and Florida State.
“All our blood, sweat and tears came from Baton Rouge. Everybody around helped us out when we had nothing. It’s just time for us to give back.”
His decision to stay home is something Stewart said means a lot to her, and it also keeps Joseph close to Ja’Vonte Smart, one of the nation’s top basketball recruit who signed with LSU last November. Smart also emphasized the connection and desire to perform for Baton Rouge after signing with the Tigers.
Both Joseph and Smart described their relationship as more than a friendship but that of family.
“They’ve been knowing each other since they were little kids playing on a little league,” Stewart said. “It’s crazy because we can’t go nowhere, like out to eat, with those two because everybody wants to take pictures. It is a great opportunity to have both of them, top players in Louisiana, both going to LSU, and (Ja’Vonte) is like a brother.”
Added Smart, “That’s my dog. It feels good to have him on my side pushing me, telling me what I have to do, and influencing me to do the right things instead of the wrong things.”
With the influence of Smart off the field, the hope of many fans is Joseph can make an influence on the field.
The four-star prospect can play a variety of positions in the secondary, including safety and nickelback. Joseph has a chance to not only play as a freshman but to start due to limited depth in LSU’s secondary.
The 6-foot-1, 195 pound, Joseph embraces the opportunity and said while it is a daunting task he has come this far, and it is his time to shine.
For now, though, Joseph is just happy to be able to call himself an LSU Tiger.
“It’s just a great feeling,” Joseph said. “Everybody is not blessed with this opportunity, and I just thank God for this that he had put it before me.”