Johnathan Joseph had just landed at the airport and was headed for Paul Brown Stadium when his cell phone buzzed. The first-round draft pick from South Carolina didn’t recognize the number of the caller, so he ignored it.
Then, it rang again. Same number. Hmmm.
Who could this be?
The Cincinnati Bengals’ cornerback-to-be called back to find out.
“I said, ‘Did someone call Johnathan?’ He said, ‘Yeah,’ ” Joseph recalled. “I said, ’Who is this?’ ”
Joseph didn’t recognize the voice. He needed only a short sentence to figure out the identity.
“He said, ‘It’s 85.’ ”
Joseph knows what the number means. In Cincinnati, it’s as distinctive as a Pepto-Bismol shipment or a Riverdance touchdown celebration.
Chad Johnson was calling to welcome him — and talk a little trash, of course.
The Pro Bowl receiver called the draft pick Saturday night shortly after he arrived. Johnson wanted to welcome him to the team and set him straight on a few things.
Such as: No cornerback can cover him — not in a game, not in practice.
“He’s talking some trash,” Joseph said Sunday morning, amused at the memory. “He just introduced me, welcomed me as a teammate. He didn’t say too much. He wanted to put the cleats on right here, go at it a little bit.”
The Bengals took Joseph with the 24th overall pick, the first time they’ve drafted a cornerback with their top pick in their 39-year history. He played only one full season at South Carolina, so he’s still a work in progress.
So, can he cover Chad?
“We’ll see,” Joseph said, smiling.
Paul McQuistan is a 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior tackle from Weber State. So is Pat McQuistan.
Paul is headed for Oakland, taken in the third round of the NFL draft. Pat is going to Dallas, which took him in the seventh round.
Or maybe the other way around if the identical twins are into pulling off a prank.
Paul was projected to go on the first day of the draft and did. His brother, who played guard next to Paul in college, is expected to move to tackle in Dallas.
Paul was an all-conference player for Weber State last season.
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