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January 15, 2013
At Stroudsburg (Pa.) High School, Sebastian Joseph is anything but your typical jock, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
"I kind of break the stereotypes," Joseph said. "My school is a whole bunch of stereotypes. I don't like it and I try to break them."
There are few bigger stereotypes in high school than the supposed clear separation between the jocks and theater kids, but Joseph smashes any barriers between those seemingly divergent interests like he is blowing up a running play in the backfield.
The Rutgers-bound defensive tackle has a prominent role in his school's winter production for the second year in a row, playing a ship captain in Cole Porter's Anything Goes.
So does Joseph think of himself as being the 6-foot-4, 270-pound "jock out of water" when he's on stage? Hardly.
"I don't look at it like that. I'm just myself," he said. "People are always surprised by it but I'm just being myself.
"I don't hang out with certain types of groups. I hang out with everybody. I'm open to everybody, I'm open to every culture, ethnicity, all of that. I would never discriminate against different stuff. I try everything and I like it."
His acting chops are a direct off-shoot of Joseph's gregarious, fun-loving personality, but the multi-talented teenager is also making sure to get down to business in his off-season football training.
When he hasn't been showing off his thespian side, Joseph has been rehabbing a shoulder injury suffered late in the 2012 season. He tore a labrum and dislocated his shoulder, and underwent surgery to fix ligament and bone damage.
"They told me I can't lift for three months," Joseph said. "After my official visit, I have a doctor's appointment. Hopefully, I get cleared to start running and stuff like that. Up until now, I've just been doing abdominal and core work because they don't want me to re-injure my shoulder and have it not be healed when I get to Rutgers."
Joseph, who anticipates no long-term effects from the injury, will be at Rutgers for his official visit in two weekends. He'll be part of a large contingent of visitors, which includes many already committed prospects and key targets who remain uncommitted or have pledged elsewhere.
Joseph said he will try to do some last-minute recruiting of his own, but is also looking forward to bonding with his future teammates.
"I'm looking forward to meeting all the players," he said. "Like I already know all of the coaches, but I'm just excited to meet the players now and some of the kids who are coming in with me to Rutgers."