SDS’ top 25 players of 2012: No. 9 Luke Joeckel

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SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2012, and we’re not stopping until we get to that sexy No. 1. We don’t just rank stats or project players at the next level based on athletic superiority, but we rank players based on the season they had in 2012. I know you’ll agree with every single one…

No. 9 – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Why he’s worthy: Texas A&M’s biggest strength on offense other than slippery Johnny Heisman was the way-too-often overlooked offensive line. And Luke Joeckel, along with Jake Matthews, anchored what I like to call the best offensive line in the country. Joeckel was a first team All-SEC and All-American junior, winning the Outland Trophy for the country’s top offensive lineman.

Early in his career, Joeckel was often overlooked and had less hype than even his counterpart Matthews because of the name. However, it has been Joeckel, not Matthews, who developed into the better tackle faster.

Athleticism describes Joeckel’s game to a T. He’s so athletic for 6-6, 310 pounds it’s almost criminal. The way he pushed around defensive ends each week was fun to watch, especially in a league known for superior defensive linemen. As the primary protector of two mobile quarterbacks in Johnny Manziel and Ryan Tannehill, Joeckel had to be athletic to hold his block for as long as he did.

Joeckel is on the same talent wavelength as former first-round picks Matt Kalil, Jake Long and Joe Thomas.

With Joeckel anchoring the line at left tackle, the Aggies averaged over 200 yards rushing per game the last two seasons.

Although we’ll miss him in the SEC in ’13, Joeckel will be doing work on Sundays at the next level.

The Countdown

Photo Credit: Thomas Campbell

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