Potential Starter At Left Tackle?

With seniors Michael Shumard and Lee Grimes graduating, next year's left tackle position is wide open and will likely see a red-shirt or true freshman start.Unlike his twin brother Matt, Luke has the opportunity to start next year. The 6-6, 295 pound offensive tackle took his official visit to A&M over the weekend and had the chance to talk to the A&M coaches about his potential role next year.

With seniors Michael Shumard and Lee Grimes graduating, next year's left tackle position is wide open and will likely see a red-shirt or true freshman start. Offensive line coach Jim Turner will have a difficult task in front of him trying to develop the freshman into viable starters by next fall. Turner does have the advantage of getting a true fish in the spring that he expects to contribute in some sort of fashion next season. Luke Joeckel and his twin brother Matt will be mid-term enrollments in January. Unlike his twin brother Matt, Luke has the opportunity to start next year. The 6-6, 295 pound offensive tackle took his official visit to A&M over the weekend and had the chance to talk to a few of the A&M coaches about his potential role next year.

"Getting down there and just talking with the coaches and players was exciting. My host was Aaron Arterburn and my brother's was Ryan Swope so we hung out with them a lot. Pretty much the entire freshman class was there and I talked to a lot of the offensive lineman, they all seem like real cool guys."

The A&M coaches had a special treat for the recruits Saturday night. They toured the facilities, got to try on their jerseys, and watched the spirit video out on Kyle Field.

"The coaches took us into the locker room and they had special lockers for all of us to sit in. It felt so good to put on that Aggie jersey. I didn't want to take it off. That Kyle Field presentation they had for us was crazy. It gave me goose bumps just watching it. "

While visiting Coach Sherman's house on Saturday, Coach Turner talked to Luke about the position they want him at starting in the Spring.

"It's an incredible house. It was a real good lunch with awesome food. The coaches said that coming in the Spring was the best thing for me. It will give me a chance to play and start as a freshman. I couldn't have made a better decision. Coach Turner said he is going to start me down at left tackle because that is where I feel most comfortable. They might move me around but that is where they will start me in spring drills. We talked for a long time on Friday. We talked a little bit about the Georgia game, he asked me what spot I am most comfortable at right now and I told him left tackle. He said he was going to throw me in at the starting spot but he wouldn't just keep me in because he knows I am going to be behind a little bit."

Winning a starting spot on the offensive line won't come easy for Luke. The Arlington native understands the kind of competition he will be going against, but his mindset for the challenge is where it needs to be to achieve his goals. Luke is looking forward to learning from the veteran linemen.

"It will be tough but I know it will make me better. I want to be the best football player I can be. A&M is definitely the place where I can become the best player I can be. That entire offensive line group are good players. I was shocked to see how big and good they were. I will look up to all of them but I know I will have to compete with them to. "

Luke and his brother Matt caught a handful of Spring practices last year before they committed to A&M. On Saturday, they both watched the bowl practice inside the McFerrin center. Luke noticed the improvements the A&M offense has made over the past 9 months.

"They looked real good. I remember going in the Spring and watching a few practices and it's amazing how much they have improved. What Coach Sherman and Coach Turner have done with the offensive line is incredible. It's good to come in with the kind of offense we have instead of having to rebuild a terrible offense. They stepped up this season and proved that they can put points on the board whenever they want. I think we can only get better."

Luke was chosen to play in the Under Armour All-American game on January 2nd at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. He and Corey Nelson will represent Texas A&M in the game and Luke is honored to have been chosen.

"I think the competition will help me get ready for the college game. These guys are the best around and it will be good to see where I stand. I was truly honored to be invited to play in an event like this. I had no idea when I started playing football in high school that I would be where I am at right now."


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