Every kid who gets drafted feels like a winner. Well, maybe not Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy. But most of them feel like a winner. For Linval Joseph, there was a time when he was more like the Biggest Loser.
You know, the ones on television.
Joseph weighed over 370 pounds as a freshman at East Carolina but when he had surgery to repair an injured back he realized that enough was enough. And when none of his teammates came to visit him in the hospital after his surgery – he said he only had three visitors, his mother, his coach and a friend – he took a long hard look at himself.
“I got tunnel vision because I saw that people didn’t really care about me,” he said. “Ever since then I figured out my real friends from my fake friends. I had tunnel vision. I knew what I wanted to do and I knew what I had to do to do it.”
That included losing weight. He dropped 70 pounds of what is politely called “baby fat” (although try finding a 70-pound baby) and then regained about 20 pounds of muscle by dedicating himself to the weigh room.
“It just got to the point where I was like ‘This is disgusting,’” he said. “It was hard for me to breathe, hard for me to tie my shoes. It was just too much.”
Joseph weighed 328 at the Combine and dropped to 291 for his pro day in front of the Giants and other NFL teams. That impressed Tom Coughlin. Since then he’s dropped a little more weight too.
“Right now I’m 315 and I’m strong and at 315, I can last a long time,” he said, adding that his ideal weight is between 315 and 325. “I’m pretty much solid in there. 315 is where I like to be at. 315 is perfect. I’m strong at 315. When I get smaller than 315 I drop off a little bit strength-wise.”
While Joseph was on the phone with us, he noted that his family and friends were outside at a fish fry hosted by his mother. Someone suggested that Joseph should go attend his draft party before all of the fish disappeared.
“I’ve already had my share,” he laughed.