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  4. Eric Nelson (in for Henry) talks with Minnesota Vikings DT Linval Joseph
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History

Early Years

Joseph was born in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He attended Santa Fe High School in Alachua, Florida, where he was a four-year letterman in football for the Raiders. He was a two-time All-state selection (Class AAA) as a junior and senior, as well as an All-region selection.

In addition to football, Joseph also lettered three-times in both Powerlifting and track, earning a total of 10 varsity letters. In Powerlifting, Joseph recorded lifts of 415 (bench press) and 560 (squat). As a junior, he captured the Florida State Bench Press Championship with 415 pounds and the Florida State Weightlifting Championship with a 320 pound clean jerk. In track & field, Joseph was one of the state’s top performers in the throwing events with personal-bests of 17.13 meters (56’2.75″) in the shot put and 48.41 meters (158’10”) in the discus.

College Career

Joseph attended East Carolina University from 2007 to 2009. During his collegiate career, he totaled 143 tackles, including 29.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks. He was named first-team All-Conference USA (C-USA) as a junior in 2009.

Freshman season (2007)
See also: 2007 East Carolina Pirates football team
As a true freshman, Joseph played in all 13 games with four starts, recording 40 overall total tackles (13 solo, 27 assists). His 8.5 tackles for a loss of 23 yards ranked fourth on the team, while his five quarterback hurries ranked fourth. He was part of a defensive front that held four opponents to 80 rushing yards or less. He notched his first career start against #5 West Virginia in the fourth week of the season, finishing with four total tackles. He made his collegiate debut on national television in the season opener at Virginia Tech but was not credited with any statistics in the game. His first career sack (half) came against Southern Miss for a 3-yard loss. He also recovered a fumble in that game against the Eagles. On November 10, he collected a season-high eight tackles (three solo, five assists) in the Pirates’ loss at Marshall. He was named to the 2007 Conference USA All-Freshman Team by the media and coaches.

In 2005, he captured the district and regional titles in the shot put and the discus.[1][2] He advanced to the state finals in the shot put and discus as a junior and senior; in 2006, he placed 3rd in the shot put and 2nd in the discus,[3] and as a senior, he won the state title in the shot put.[4] He was also timed at 5.0 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Regarded as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com,[5] Joseph was featured in the 2007 Rivals Recruiting Yearbook. He was rated as the 44th-ranked defensive tackle nationally and 59th-ranked recruit out of the state of Florida. He was considered among the region’s top prospects and among the top 500 overall prospects in the country (deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on a college team). He was viewed as the 76th-ranked overall recruit in Florida by SuperPrep Magazine.

Sophomore season (2008)
See also: 2008 East Carolina Pirates football team
As a sophomore in 2008, Joseph was among East Carolina top 10 tacklers, finishing with a total of 43 stops, with eight of those coming behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 34 yards. He played in all 14 games and opened the last nine consecutive contests on the inside of the Pirates’ defensive front. He posted six or more stops in three of the last four games and was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection by the league coaches. He helped the Pirates’ defensive unit hold three opponents to under 100 rushing yards and two opponents to less than 100 passing yards, while forcing a total of 33 turnovers that ranked seventh in the nation. He opened the year as a preseason All-Conference USA selection by analyst Phil Steele, despite missing much of fall camp due to a back injury, which came after losing +70 pounds following the 2007 campaign. He made his first start of the year against Virginia on October 11 and never left the starting lineup for the remainder of the year. On December 6, he enjoyed a career-high nine-tackle performance against Tulsa in the Conference USA Championship Game, which also included a forced fumble and a batted pass. In the third quarter, he dropped Golden Hurricane quarterback David Johnson behind the line on a rush where he forced his first career fumble on a third-and-five play. He then followed with seven stops against Kentucky in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, a career-best three resulting in lost yardage. He was also credited with a pair of blocked extra-point attempts against the Wildcats.

Junior season (2009)
See also: 2009 East Carolina Pirates football team
In the 2009 season, Joseph appeared in all 14 games. He recorded 60 tackles, three sacks, 13 tackles-for-loss, and one pass defended. Following his junior season in 2009, Joseph announced his intention to forgo his remaining eligibility at East Carolina and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

2010
2010 season
Joseph was inactive in 10 games as a rookie in 2010 and only played in six games. On December 26, he had a season-best five solo stops versus the Green Bay Packers. He played his first NFL game against the Chicago Bears in Week 4, and was credited with a tackle in the game. Joseph finished his first season as a Giant with 8 combined tackles, six of them solo.
2011
2011 season
Joseph was moved into a full-time starter role in his second year, starting 15 games and playing in all 16 contests. He opened all four playoff games en route to Super Bowl XLVI title. On October 30, he notched his first career sack on Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore. In Week 13, he had a season-high 9 solo tackles in the Giants' loss to the Green Bay Packers. He had three tackles each in the opening three playoff games of the Giants' run to the Super Bowl.[8] Joseph started in Super Bowl XLVI as the Giants defeated the New England Patriots by a score of 21–17.[9]
2012
2012 season
In 2012, Joseph started all 16 games for the Giants for the first time in his career, recording a career-high 59 tackles that ranked 5th on the team while also posting 4.0 sacks and a forced fumble. On October 21 against the Washington Redskins, he forced a fumble and recovered it, helping the Giants prevail over the Redskins 27-23. In Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys, Joseph had 2 sacks as his team's defense picked up a total of 4 sacks of Tony Romo and forcing 6 turnovers, as the New York Giants won the game 29-24.[10]
2013
2013 season
In the 2013 season, Joseph started 15 games. Joseph was part of a Giants defense that ranked twelfth in the NFL in total defense. In the Giants' Week 3 loss against the Carolina Panthers, he posted a season-high 8 tackles. He missed the Philadelphia game with an injury in Week 5. On December 15, he notched seven tackles and a sack against the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Joseph finished his last season as a Giant with 59 tackles, 3.0 sacks, and a forced fumble.
2014
2014 season
Joseph was one of nine people who were shot by a gunman inside the Minneapolis nightclub 400 Soundbar on August 11, 2014.[12] A stray bullet struck him in the calf. The Vikings characterized the injury as "minor."[13] In Joseph's first regular season game with his new team, he was credited with five tackles and a sack in the Vikings' 34-6 victory at St. Louis to give new head coach Mike Zimmer the first career win on his head coaching record.
2015
2015 season
Joseph was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance in the Vikings 21-18 overtime win over the St. Louis Rams in Week 9. Joseph was credited with 10 tackles (7 solo), 0.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 pressures in the victory, earning a +11.4 grade from Pro Football Focus. The 10 combined tackles tied for the most by a defensive tackle in a game this season. Joseph became the first Viking defensive tackle to win the award in over a decade (the last was Kevin Williams in 2004) and first Viking defender to receive the honor since linebacker Anthony Barr in 2014. He was ranked 76th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[14]
2016
2016 season
In the Vikings' Week 1 win over the Tennessee Titans, Joseph contributed with five tackles and sacked quarterback Marcus Mariota for a 9-yard loss in the second half. Joseph finished third on the team in total tackles with 77 (100 according to the coaches’ tally), tied his career high with 4.0 sacks, and added seven tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Joseph became the fifth Vikings defensive tackle to have at least 100 tackles and 4.0 sacks in a season, joining Alan Page, James White, Charlie Johnson and Henry Thomas. On January 12, 2017, Joseph was selected to his first Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams, becoming the first Vikings defensive tackle to be selected since Kevin Williams in 2010 and joining Vikings teammates Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, and Cordarrelle Patterson at the annual showcase game.[15]
2017
2017 season
On August 5, 2017, Joseph signed a four-year, $50 million contract extension with the Vikings with $31.5 million guaranteed.[16] He started all 16 games, finishing second in the league among defensive tackles with 68 tackles. On January 22, 2018, Joseph was named to his second straight Pro Bowl.[17] He was ranked 83rd on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.[18]
2018
2018 season
On October 7, 2018 in the fifth game of the season versus the Philadelphia Eagles, Joseph scored a 65 yard touchdown off a fumble recovery. This was the first TD of his NFL career.

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