Kerby Joseph was thrilled when his phone finally rang Friday night and it was Detroit Lions general manager Brad Homes.
“The conversation was amazing. I’ve always wanted this moment…so for me to take this step in my life…” Joseph said. “I am so filled with joy and I am so happy. It’s hard for me to talk right now because I just want to dance and scream and do a backflip.
Joseph and his friends waited more than three hours until his name was called just after 11 p.m. Friday in the third round of the NFL Draft. When Holmes called the former Jones High star, he forgot all about everything he had wandered into the Kissimmee vacation home his family had rented for their draft party.
The Lions made the University of Illinois safety the 97th overall selection.
“I wasn’t going crazy. I haven’t lowered my self-confidence. I haven’t lowered my self-esteem. I haven’t lowered anything,” Joseph said of the wait. “I feel like it just motivated me. I just know we’re all going to be on the same playing field at the same level, so…I have to give it my all…not even 100% but more like 1000% this time.
He said before the draft that it didn’t matter which team selected him, but he was certainly happy to get the call from the Lions.
“You see I put the hat on. I am so happy, so blessed for this opportunity and so grateful that the Detroit Lions gave me this opportunity,” Joseph said. “They believed in me and I feel like believing in me goes a long way.
“If you believe in me, I’ll let you believe in me more than I believe in me, so I’ll give them my all.”
When Holmes called, family and friends gathered for the big moment must have been quieted down after Joseph waved a Lions hat in the air during his conversation. Just sad, “Come on, the boss is on the phone.”
Joseph said Homes said, “Hey Kirby, are you ready to be a Detroit Lion?” said Joseph. “I almost cried. I’m not going to lie. I almost cried. I was so grateful for that moment.
Joseph’s father, Dacius Joseph, who cooked the big Haitian meal for those in attendance, was very happy for his son, and his hopes were that Kerby would remain faith-driven and grounded.
“I feel great. He’s going to the NFL,” Dacius Joseph said. “Since he was a little boy, he told me he wanted to go play football.
“So now, may God make it true. It’s real now. Thank you Jesus. Without Jesus, it’s not there to be.
And now he’s going to have to change his allegiance.
“I’ve always been the Miami Dolphins, but now it’s not the Dolphins. It’s the Detroit Lions.