Texas A&M Football: What You Need to Know About Aggie LT Luke Joeckel

Michael Taglienti@@miketag98Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2012

Texas A&M Football: What You Need to Know About Aggie LT Luke Joeckel

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    The Texas A&M football team will feature one of the best offensive lines in the country in 2012. Leading the O-line will be junior left tackle Luke Joeckel.

    Joecke has been a mainstay on the left side of the Aggies offensive line for the past two years. He enters his junior year as a projected first-round pick in the NFL draft.

    Whether he leaves A&M early or stays for his senior season, Joeckel will be remembered as one of the top Aggie offensive linemen of all time.

    If he has the type of junior season that everyone is expecting, then the Aggies will have a successful inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference.

Joeckel Is the Most Highly Thought of NFL Prospect on the Team

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    Although the Aggies have a tremendous senior class returning that features multiple NFL prospects, Joeckel is considered by many as the top pro prospect in the program and he is a junior.

    NFL scouts love his quick feet and his ability to protect the quarterback's blind side. Joeckel projects well as a left tackle at the next level. He is expected to be a first-round draft pick.

    There is some concern that he will skip his senior season at A&M to enter the draft. That is an issue the Aggies will not have to worry about until after the season.

He Is a Twin

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    Luke Joeckel is a twin. His brother, Matt Joeckel, is a quarterback on the Texas A&M football team. Because of his position, Matt received most of the recruiting attention while coming out of high school.

    Joeckel protected his brother's blind side while the two of them led Arlington (TX) High School deep into the playoffs their senior year.

    Both of them graduated high school a semester early and joined the Aggie football team for spring practice in 2010. Matt is one of four quarterbacks still competing for the starting spot for the 2012 season.

Joeckel's Play Has Earned Him Numerous Awards

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    In 2011 Joeckel's strong play at left tackle earned him first-team All-Big 12 honors. As he enters his junior season, Joeckel has been named to numerous preseason All-American teams.

    He was also selected to the preseason All-SEC team by the media at the recently completed SEC media days.

    The fact that media members who cover the top conference in America expect Joeckel to walk into the league and play at an elite level speaks volumes about the kind of respect his play has commanded.

He and Jake Matthews Form an Elite Set of Bookend Tackles

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    Joeckel and his junior teammate Jake Matthews form one of the best set of tackles in the nation.

    Matthews is the right tackle for the Aggies. The two are standouts on an offensive line that returns all five starters from 2011 and should be one of the best in the nation.

    Some early mock NFL drafts have both Joeckel and Matthews going in the first round of the 2013 draft.

    All five starters on the Aggie offensive line should get the chance to play on Sundays.

Joeckel Is a Leader of the Team

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    Joeckel accompanied Kevin Sumlin to the SEC media days to introduce the SEC scribes to Texas A&M football.

    He is assuming more of a leadership role on the team now that he is a junior. Joeckel and the veteran O-line should be a calming influence on an offense that is going to have a new quarterback under center in 2012.

    Joeckel is going to be counted on to help neutralize some of the top pass-rushers in the country so the Aggies' quarterback will have time to run Sumlin's spread offense.

He Has Started Every Game in His Career

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    Joeckel has been the starter at left tackle ever since he arrived on campus. He was the rare talent that could step onto a college football field as a true freshman and block the elite pass-rushers.

    There was a humorous story told on the TexAgs radio show on The Zone 1150 AM. Although he is considered one of the elite left tackles in the country right now, early on Joeckel thought he would never play in college.

    Shortly after he went through his first few spring practices, he called his father on the phone and told him that he would never be good enough to start on a college football team. He was always getting beat in practice by an outside linebacker he was facing every day.

    The name of that outside linebacker was Von Miller.