It’s been called “The World’s Toughest Job Interview.” For seven days at the NFL Combine (Feb. 20-26), college football’s best will be measured, interviewed, tested, watched and analyzed by countless NFL coaches, general managers and scouts prior to the NFL Draft. To prepare, more than three-dozen top prospects traveled to IMG Academy for six-plus weeks of position-specific skill-work, speed and movement, physical and mental conditioning, communications and leadership training, nutrition, vision training, sports medicine and more with world-renowned coaches and trainers.
From blocking for a Heisman Trophy winner to shooting up mock draft boards, Luke Joeckel has become a household name in the football world. Learn more about the former Aggie and projected No. 1 overall pick.
Luke Joeckel on...
...his twin brother: He’s about 6-5, 230. We almost have identical faces, but he’s just a little smaller. I was actually a quarterback at one point. In seventh grade, my brother and I were the first two kids picked and were quarterbacks on rival teams. Soon, I moved to tight end and then the offensive line because I was always the biggest kid on the team.
I still throw it around a little bit. I’ve always been able to throw it a long way. I could probably throw it over 70 yards right now. I’d probably throw out my arm, but I could do it.
...playing on the offensive line: I love the competition every single play. Every play is a one-on-one of you versus someone else until the whistle. As a left tackle, you’re usually going against their best pass rusher. This year, we ran an up-tempo offense and by the third and fourth quarter, you can see them start to wear down and I felt just as strong as the start of the game. It’s a good feeling.
...leaving Texas A&M early: It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I was dead-set on going back, but after a lot of conversation, I decided leaving was the best move for me. I’m definitely going to go back and get my degree. That’s huge for me.
...his letter to the 12th man: I felt like everyone deserved it. I had every opportunity that I could ask for with football and school. We have one of the best fan bases in the country that support you non-stop. I didn’t have the chance to go back to College Station, so I needed some type of closure. I felt like I should provide an explanation for why I was doing what I was doing.
...blocking for Johnny Manziel: It was tough. It was tiring. Before the season, you couldn’t really practice his “Heisman-type plays” because there’d be a quick whistle. It’s fun, though. It was like backyard football.
We were pretty surprised by him. We didn’t know he’d be that good. We knew he was a good athlete, but the game has never really seen someone like him with the way he runs around for about 10 seconds. He gave us some nice recognition in his Heisman speech, but I left before I could take advantage of him taking all of us out to dinner.
...his golf game: I have a pretty good swing for a big guy. I can hit the ball pretty far. I don’t play in the fall, but in the summers I’ll get out two or three times a week and shoot in the high 70s or low 80s. My short game needs work, but I like going out and just crushing drives.
...believing the hype: During the whole season, I never looked at the mock draft boards or anything. That’s when you start thinking too much and overcomplicating. Football is an easy game, just go out and play it.
...IMG Academy: I feel like there’s not a better place in the country to get me prepared for the Combine and Pro Day. I’m already seeing big differences. I’m excited to see what I can do after five weeks in the system. There are some of the best athletes in the country here. We’re competing, but we’re making each other better.