– Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel is considered a strong possibility as the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. He has work to do to solidify that position but on Thursday he spoke colorfully about his childhood, playing with his brother and what it would mean to him to be the top player taken in the draft.
– Joeckel measured in at 6’6, 306 pounds.
(On possibly being first tackle selected)
Yeah, definitely coming into this thing I wanted to be the first tackle taken in the draft. Now I know it’s a long process until then. I’m trying to do every single thing right to make sure that happens. I know it’s a competition between him (Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher) against the other guys, you know (Oklahoma’s) Lane Johnson. It’s good type of competition between all of us. That’s one of the fun parts about the combine – the competition aspect of it, going against some of the best athletes at your position in the country.
(On journey from Arlington High, to A&M and what it would mean to him to be No. 1 overall pick)
It’s just crazy to think about. Starting football in the second grade, you don’t really think about that kind of stuff. Football has been huge for me my entire life. I actually love the game. Just getting to this, this has been a dream come true, just coming to play in the NFL, being in this situation is just, can’t even imagine it. (On if his “great” performance against Alabama opened scouts eyes) I’m not for sure what they were thinking, but I just try to get better every single week. I just tried to play the game, didn’t really look at what the media was saying or what the scouts were saying or things like that. I was just trying to play football, definitely just to focus during football season, it’s just all football, nothing else really comes into it. That’s the only way I approached it.
(On similarities between SEC defensive fronts and the NFL’s)
SEC defensive lines are stout. They are the best defensive lines in the country. Going from the Big 12 to the SEC, you can definitely see a difference, you can see it on film and you can definitely see it playing against it. I think it’s a great stepping-stone to go to the NFL after playing against the top guys I played against this year, and I’m excited about that next step.
(On if playing with A&M right tackle Jake Matthews pushed him to be even better)
It helped a ton. We came in together, same class. I think definitely a lot of me being a great player is a credit to him and (vice versa)…We compete every single day in the weight room, we lift together, we run, we do all our drills against each other. He’s a really good friend of mine. He’s a great lineman. I wish he could have came out this year with me, but I’m glad he’s going back to help Texas A&M out to have a good season next year. He’s almost been a brother. It just helps so much the way we compete on and off the field.
(On whether he’s received any tips from Jake’s dad, Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews)
Yeah, a little bit. I’ve talked to him about it. I’ll ask him (Jake) questions, I’ll ask his dad. He (Jake) is lucky that he’s got one of the greatest offensive linemen of all time as his dad, and he (Bruce) can coach him (Jake) up any time. I definitely try to take advantage of that.
(On relationship with his twin brother and backup A&M QB Matt)
We are an extremely competitive family. I grew up probably fighting multiple times a day with my twin brother. When we were little, we were closer in size, only about five or 10 pounds apart. Now we are about 70, 80 pounds, so he doesn’t really mess with me much any more. We are a very competitive family and pretty physical with each other.
(On how important it would be to be selected No. 1 overall)
It would be really cool, a dream come true. But the way I’m just looking at it, I want to get there. I am definitely striving to be the No. 1 pick, going through this entire process and playing this season and all that kind of stuff. But my dream is to just play in the NFL. I know, being the No. 1 pick, after that, it doesn’t really matter. You’ve got to go prove yourself in the NFL. It’s just like that in college. Being the No. 1 recruit in college doesn’t matter unless you step on that campus. It’s the same thing. It’s cool and everything, but going to any team I go through, proving myself there will be the biggest thing.
(On what it was like when he gave up a sack with his brother at QB)
Actually, I’ve got a pretty good story about that. My junior year I was pancaking this guy. I’m pancaking him, and Matt bounces out of the pocket, and I pancake the guy right into Matt’s legs. I get up and instead of him yelling at me, I started yelling at him, saying, ‘You gave me a sack. You’ve got to be a better athlete than that.’ He never chewed me out for giving up sacks. I chewed him out once for making me give up a sack. That’s kind of like how our relationship is.
(On what he likes about being an offensive lineman)
I love offensive line. Growing up I always thought I was too athletic for the position. I was a quarterback in junior high. There are two (A) teams for junior high because 100 kids try out, and we were the quarterbacks for both teams. One at quarterback and one played tight end, and I always ended up on offensive line just because I was the biggest guy on the team. The offensive line is what I was born to play. I loved the physical aspect of it. You finish every play with a one-on-one block. There are not many other positions on the field like that. I love that part of it. I’m a background guy, and that’s why belong on the offensive line.
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