Former Arlington High tackle Luke Joeckel builds on family legacy of blockers

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 05, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
The Home Depot College Football Awards Show

6:30 p.m. Thursday


The awards

Maxwell Award (most outstanding player)

Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year)

Biletnikoff Award (most outstanding wide receiver)

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award (most outstanding placekicker)

Ray Guy Award (most outstanding punter)

Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award (best quarterback)

Outland Trophy (most outstanding interior lineman)

Jim Thorpe Award (most outstanding defensive back)

Doak Walker Award (most outstanding running back)

Texans in contention

Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (Outland)

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, Maxwell Award)

Terrance Williams, Baylor (Biletnikoff Award).

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

For now, Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel is focused on the Outland Trophy, the award he envisioned winning when other youth-league football players fantasized about striking a Heisman pose.

"We're an offensive line family," said Joeckel, an Arlington High School graduate whose father, grandfather and older brother also cleared running lanes for others at the college level. "I'm super excited. It's something I've heard about my whole life."

But Joeckel, a junior who will learn his Outland fate during Thursday night's live presentation at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show, understands most football fans are more interested in his decision regarding the NFL than his trophy collection.

It's been that way since November, when an analyst called him the "top-rated prospect, regardless of position" eligible to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Joeckel, who protects the blind side for A&M quarterback/Heisman Trophy candidate Johnny Manziel, also has topped the player rankings for NFL prospects.

"It's really cool," Joeckel said about the glowing reviews of his NFL potential. "It's something to address. As an offensive lineman, I think we deserve to be up there that high. It's an important position. Just not a flashy one. It will be something I look at and make a decision later on."

The Miami Dolphins were the last NFL team to spend the top overall pick on an offensive lineman when they selected Jake Long, a three-time Pro Bowl performer, in 2008. Could Joeckel be the next Jake Long?

Joeckel (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) said he plans to discuss his NFL options with family members and A&M coaches after No. 9 A&M (10-2) faces No. 11 Oklahoma (10-2) on Jan. 4 in the AT&T Cotton Classic at Cowboys Stadium. During a phone interview, he indicated plans to compare notes with A&M right tackle Jake Matthews, a fellow junior and three-year starter who also is projected as a potential first-round pick in April, before Joeckel decides whether to skip his senior season.

"Our decisions would be based on each other a little bit," Joeckel said. "We've talked some, but nothing serious. We both have to talk to our families."

And that decision can wait until January, in Joeckel's estimation. What will be determined Thursday is whether Joeckel wins the Outland in a three-man race that includes Alabama center Barrett Jones, the 2011 recipient, and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper.

A victory for Joeckel would mean building on a family legacy of NCAA blockers. His father, David, was a four-year letterman as an offensive lineman at Texas Tech (1979-82). His older brother, also named David, played offensive line for DePauw, a Division III school in Greencastle, Ind. And his grandfather, Reece Washington, played tight end for Texas Tech.

"I've watched the awards show for a lot of years," Joeckel said. "Coming into college, I had no idea I'd ever be there. I'm humbled by it. It would mean so much to win (the Outland) because it's something my Dad has talked to me about for a long time. It's something I've worked for since I was little."

In an offensive line family, the stakes don't get much higher.

Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, November 21Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 21Full Scoreboard
Orlando994th Qtr 0:35 | Box
Charlotte97TV: FSN-FL, SPSO
Phoenix1224th Qtr 0:49 | Box
Philadelphia94TV: FSN-AZ, CSN-PHI
Detroit644th Qtr | Box
Atlanta74TV: FSN-DET, SPSO
Milwaukee533rd Qtr 3:24 | Box
Toronto94TV: FSN-WI, TSN
Boston463rd Qtr 11:04 | Box
Memphis55TV: CSN-NE, SPSO
San Antonio593rd Qtr | Box
Minnesota48TV: FSN-SW, FSN-N
Brooklyn493rd Qtr | Box
Oklahoma City53TV: YES, FSN-OK
Cleveland423rd Qtr | Box
Washington55TV: ESPN, FSN-OH, CSN-DC
LA Lakers362nd Qtr 8:50 | Box
Dallas47TV: TWC SN, FSN-SW
New Orleans141st Qtr 8:13 | Box
Denver2TV: FSN-NO, Altitude
Utah 11/21 10:30 PM ET
Golden State TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-BA
Chicago 11/21 10:30 PM ET
Portland TV: ESPN, WGN, CSN-NW
Full Scoreboard
Week 12Full Scoreboard
Kansas City20Final | Box
Oakland «24Gridiron Replay
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
St. Louis 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: FOX
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Seattle TV: FOX
Miami 4:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS
Washington 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: CBS
Dallas 8:30 PM ET
NY Giants TV: NBC
NY Jets 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Baltimore 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 21Full Scoreboard
NY Islanders43rd Prd 4:05 | Box
Pittsburgh4TV: TVA, SN, MSG+, ROOT-PIT
Boston33rd Prd 5:54 | Box
Columbus3TV: NESN, FSN-OH
NY Rangers0Postponed | Box
New Jersey 11/21 9:30 PM ET
Edmonton TV: MSG+, MSG+2, SN-W
Full Scoreboard