He, too, is a slugger, virtually the same size as Cook and wired to play the same way.
Joseph threw himself around the field all of last season and spent much of his down time sore or stiff or wrapped in ice.
"When I first saw him play, I thought, 'Man, that boy's going to get his neck broken jumping in there like that,' " Cook said. "But as time went on, I saw that's just how he really tackled."
Joseph would finish with 104 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles, but he'd also affect the way those around him played. That tends to happen when a player progresses and produces like Joseph, but it was how he did things more than the things he did.
That started early. He wrestled former linebacker Josh Francis after a practice last spring, and to the surprise of his teammates, won the battle. Challenging Francis, who everyone recognized as one of the team's toughest players, was one thing. Triumphing was another.
In the same spring, he hit 6-foot, 220-pound running back Shawne Alston and knocked him to the ground, which then convinced Alston to run really hard the rest of the season.
Joseph didn't slow down during the season, either. He played just about every snap. It slowed him down in the middle of the season, but his effort and his statistics didn't disappear.
"He was a big inspiration for me - he doesn't even know it," Cook said. "But based on how he played and how he looked on film and how aggressive he was, he really pushed me to play like that. Playing with him and feeding off him was big."
Patterson is taking his safeties out of a more passive role in coverage where they patrolled a segment of the field and has loosely described what sounds like plans to use them to play the run and pressure the passer more because that's what they're good at.
And that's all Cook and Joseph needed to hear.
"It's going to be more of that this year," Cook said. "I feel like I'm going to be more into run-stopping. I feel like I'm going to be more in into the game and he's going to be more into the game. I just feel like we're both going to do more.
"We've got the attitude that we're the best. He feels like he's the best. I feel like I'm the best. We'll take that attitude on the field every day and hope it rubs off on everyone else."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.