STAMFORD — The Stamford High School football team is going to have a familiar name on the roster this fall, the brother of an alumnus who went on to a professional playing career.
If the Black Knights can get the kind of strong effort they expect from Ben Joseph, it will help make for a successful fall season.
Joseph, a junior defensive end, is the younger brother of Alex, who had stints with several NFL and Canadian Football League teams. He is currently a member of Trenton in the Professional Indoor League but is recovering from a torn ACL.
Joseph, who was on the junior varsity last year, said he is proud of his lineage and credits training this offseason with Alex for an additional 30 pounds of muscle he has put on since last fall. He is now 6-foot and 210 pounds.
“It is actually kind of surreal and crazy,” Joseph said of playing on the same field his brother, 12 years his senior, once roamed. “I’m trying to follow in his footsteps and be like him.”
Until last week it appeared the Black Knights would have two players with the same SHS-NFL connections. But on Thursday, Omar Fortt, whose brother Khairi was recently cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, transferred to St. Luke’s. Fortt was a co-captain and his move surprised Stamford coach Jamar Greene and the team.
Alex Joseph went on to an outstanding career at Temple after graduating from Stamford in 2006. He was signed as a free agent by the Packers following the NFL Draft in 2010.
Greene said he expects Joseph to make a big contribution this season for Stamford, which was 7-4 a year ago but hit hard by graduation losses. Greene spoke the day prior to Fortt’s announcement.
“The pedigree definitely helps,” Greene said. “Ben Joseph is going to help us tremendously. Omar Fortt is going to help us tremendously. They are two of our better athletes. We are going to look to them for leadership. It is good to have two players who had brothers to show them the ropes.”
Joseph is a potential breakout star this season. He is a relative unknown because he has yet to play in a varsity game. Because of that, and the age difference with his brother, many are unaware of his links to the Stamford program.
“I was young coming to his games and I just remember him catching touchdowns and all that,” Joseph said. “He always talks about working hard, doing my job and making every day count. He’s a really good brother and I love him with all my heart. He tries to teach me new stuff every day.”
Greene said that Joseph’s days as a relation unknown are about to be over.
“With Ben you are also going to know him after this season, Greene said.”