If you’re looking for a positive to take away from the 63-3 beating Kentucky took from Alabama last night, look no further than Bossman Fat.
Some may look at Kentucky laying 63 points and say, “how on Earth could you possibly look to the secondary and fight a bright spot?” Well, Kelvin Joseph was actually pretty solid against the best Wide Receiving corps in the country. Joesph was targeted three times, allowed no receptions, and came away with an interception.
Kelvin Joseph across 24 coverage snaps vs Alabama
? 3 targets
? 0 catches allowed
? 1 INT, 2 forced incompletions pic.twitter.com/DFGk2z4OhE
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 22, 2020
It was a slow start for Bossman Fat’s career at UK, so much so that we here at KSR poked at his nickname and thought that maybe this guy didn’t have the jib to be billed as a top SEC corner–something we had built him up to be over the last year and a half. After Kentucky’s two losses to open up the season, Joesph has been a lockdown corner and is starting to look like a legitimate NFL-level player.
Since week two, Joseph has four interceptions including a pick-six that helped ignite Kentucky’s win over Tennesee. These four interceptions lead the SEC this season, and it’s been a quick turnaround from the LSU transfer.
To go along with the interceptions, Kelvin Joesph has gotten an insane amount of love from Pro Football Focus (PFF). PFF grades him as the 10th best cornerback in the SEC–first in the SEC East–with a season grade of 73.6. Bear in mind the awful start he had to 2020 where he had an average grade of 54.05 and gave up 112 yards, which is over half of his yards allowed this season. Since then, he has only given up eight catches on 19 attempts with his worst performance coming against Vanderbilt, when he gave up four catches on a 66% reception rate for 62 yards.
In the two games following his bad two weeks against Auburn and Ole Miss, Bossman Fat would only give up two catches for 10 yards on five targets, including a pick-six against Tennesee. After that Tennesee game, Mark Stoops praised Joseph, reinforcing that he has a bright future as a Wildcat.
“I think Kelvin, we all knew what type of talent he has. I think he was really pressing hard early. You’ve got to remember, this is a young man that had to sit out all of last year so you need to get some game reps. It’s one thing to have practice reps underneath you and there’s another thing to have game reps under you and I think he really wanted to play well, again, for himself, for his team and sometimes when you press too much and you try to do things beyond what you’re coached to do, bad things happen. That happens all the time and again, it’s not for selfish reasons.”
There is obviously some work that still has to be done with Kelvin Joesph. The inconsistency from game to game has been a problem, but we’re seeing the early flashes of a true superstar here, especially when it matters most. Kentucky will have two more years of Bossman Fat and it appears that Mark Stoops and Brad White have a legitimate star on their hands. As he matures and gets more comfortable in the SEC, Kelvin Joseph should be a name this program remembers for some time.