Former Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Luke Joeckel was a highly-touted prospect who once drew comparisons to Hall of Fame offensive lineman Tony Boselli.
Unfortunately, Joeckel hardly resembled the stonewall Boselli was on Jacksonville’s offensive line.
Joeckel struggled during his four-year tenure in Jacksonville. He suited up in just five games in his rookie season in 2013 due to an injured ankle.
Joeckel tried to make up for lost time but allowed a combined 15.0 sacks in his next two seasons with the Jaguars.
It came as no surprise when Joeckel lost his starting left tackle job to Kelvin Beachum in 2016. A left knee injury early in the 2016 NFL season put Joeckel on injured reserve and ended his forgettable four-year stint in Jaguars teal, black, and gold.
It was hard to fathom how Joeckel became a shadow of the player he once was with the Texas A&M Aggies. In his college days, he helped the Aggies become an offensive force.
Behind Joeckel’s exploits at left tackle, sensational Aggies freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel passed for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns and won the 2012 Heisman Trophy.
Simply put, Luke Joeckel never lived up to the massive hype surrounding him with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Luke Tobias Joeckel was born to parents David and Reecanne in Arlington, TX on November 6, 1991. He has an older brother, David, a twin brother, Matt, and a sister, Sarah. Their father was a Fort Worth, TX-based trial lawyer.
Football ran in Luke’s bloodline. His dad David suited up for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. David Joeckel even participated in the Denver Broncos’ training camp in the summer of 1983 before focusing on his career in law, per The Florida Times-Union’s Vito Stellino.
On the other hand, Luke’s twin brother Matt played quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies while his older brother David played offensive lineman for the DePauw Tigers during their college days.
Apparently, their love for football dated back to their childhood days. The Joeckel twins loved watching recorded videos of their Peewee football games.
“It seemed normal,” their mother Reecanne told Stellino in the fall of 2013. “We’re a football family.”
Luke and Matt fought a lot when they were kids. They quarreled several times per day almost every day. Whenever their mother told one of them to go to his room, both twins went and began fighting once they went inside.
One of the twins’ most superficial arguments revolved around a Twinkie sponge cake. One day, their mom Reecanne packed two for Matt and just one for Luke.
Before long, the two fought over the third sponge cake. They exchanged blows and fought to a bloody finish. Fortunately, they reconciled mere minutes later. Sometimes, their sister Sarah broke up their fights by punching them.
“They’re best friends, sometimes even act like an old married couple,” Sarah Joeckel told The Florida Times-Union in 2013. “They’re the closest friends you could ever imagine.”
Luke started as a quarterback when he was in the eighth grade. His dad David coached him and his twin brother Matt in 7-on-7 drills back then. While he thought both of his twin boys had good throwing arms, Matt was the more natural signal caller between the two.
Luke eventually outgrew the quarterback position in subsequent years. Because of his massive frame, he became a tight end before settling in at offensive tackle.
When he played quarterback in seventh grade, Luke Joeckel realized that he had lost his hitter mentality. He wanted to play in the trenches, so he could hit opposing pass rushers.
“I wanted to go back to the line and start hitting people again,” Joeckel told ESPN’s Jeff Miller in the summer of 2009.
Luke told The Florida Times-Union that their dad pushed them hard in their various sports endeavors. Whenever they didn’t hustle or played below expectations, David Joeckel got on their case.
However, Luke admitted his dad’s approach made it possible for him to excel in football and eventually become a first-round draft choice in the National Football League.
Luke Joeckel attended Arlington High School in his hometown. He suited up as an offensive lineman for Arlington Colts head football coach Scott Peach from 2006 to 2009.
Peach lauded Joeckel’s physicality and tenacity. He never let up on any down whether it was a scrimmage or an actual game.
Before enrolling at Arlington High, each of the Joeckel twins weighed roughly 200 pounds. Luke, who is two minutes younger than Matt, added 100 pounds to his massive frame in high school. By the time his senior season kicked off in 2009, he stood 6’6″ and weighed 295 pounds.
On the other hand, Matt Joeckel, the quarterback, whose blind side Luke protected, stood 6’5″ and weighed 235 pounds as a senior in 2009.
Colts senior wide receiver Brandon Lewis told Miller that the Joeckel twins looked almost exactly the same several years before. It was easier to tell them apart by the time they became seniors.
Lewis had played with both twins since their freshman season. In his opinion, Luke is more laid-back and has a dry sense of humor. On the other hand, Matt is funnier and more animated.
Luke Joeckel had started for the Colts since he was a sophomore. Unfortunately, he played in only three games in the 2007 season due to a fractured left leg.
The Joeckel twins and their family visited various universities in three months during their senior year in 2009. They considered the Oklahoma Sooners, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Baylor Bears, Texas Tech Red Raiders, and Houston Cougars, per Miller.
However, Matt and Luke decided to commit to the Texas A&M Aggies in the spring of 2009. Luke chose the Aggies because he felt comfortable with their coaches. He also told ESPN that he and his twin brother could maximize their potential on the gridiron at College Station, TX.
Luke Joeckel’s hunch was spot on. He became an immovable force on the Aggies’ offensive line and helped them become an offensive juggernaut during his three-year tenure from 2010 to 2012.
College Days with the Texas A&M Aggies
Luke Joeckel attended Texas A&M University from 2010 to 2012. He played for Texas A&M Aggies head football coaches Mike Sherman and Kevin Sumlin.
Joeckel made an immediate impact with the Aggies. He became a three-year starter at left tackle and helped Texas A&M’s ground attack reach stratospheric heights.
With Joeckel beefing up the Aggies’ O-line, they gashed the opposition with an average of 165.8 rushing yards per game in the 2010 NCAA season. Joeckel helped open up running holes for Cyrus Gray, who had six of Texas A&M’s nine 100-yard rushing games that year.
To nobody’s surprise, Scout.com and the Football Writers Association of America granted Joeckel All-American honors as a true freshman.
The Aggies went 9-4 in Mike Sherman’s third year as their head football coach. Regrettably, they lost to the LSU Tigers in the 2010 Cotton Bowl, 41-24.
Joeckel picked up where he left off in his sophomore campaign in 2011. He was part of an Aggies offensive line that established school records for total offense per game (490.2 yards), passing yards per game (291.1 yards), and average offense per game (39.1).
Texas A&M had a 7-6 win-loss record in 2011. The Aggies beat the Northwestern Wildcats in the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, 33-22.
It wasn’t until Luke Joeckel’s junior year with the Aggies in 2012 that he became more of a vaunted pass blocker.
“I never thought of myself as a pass blocker until last year when I really worked at it,” Joeckel told Stellino in April 2013. “I always wanted to be a nasty run blocker. When people question my nastiness, I feel like they’re questioning my manhood a little bit, too.”
76 days until SEC football returns!
Luke Joeckel won the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation's top college football interior lineman, and was named a unanimous All-American for the Aggies. #SECcountdown #tamu pic.twitter.com/vYLd3M1e7Z
— that SEC podcast (@thatSECpodcast) June 9, 2019
Joeckel was the Aggies’ starting left tackle for all 13 games in the 2012 NCAA season. Joeckel’s presence allowed highly-touted freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel to rack up 3,706 passing yards and 26 touchdown passes that year.
Not only that, but Manziel also became a Consensus All-American and won the Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien Award, and Manning Award in 2012.
For his part, Joeckel earned First-Team All-SEC honors and became a Unanimous All-American as a junior. He also won the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in college football in the 2012 NCAA season.
Those were well-deserved accolades. Luke Joeckel was so dominant in his final two seasons with the Aggies that he allowed just 2.0 sacks in the 2011 and 2012 NCAA seasons.
With Manziel and Joeckel clicking on all cylinders, the Aggies had a gaudy 11-2 win-loss record that year. It was their best showing since the 1998 NCAA campaign when they had an 11-3 win-loss record. The 10th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies routed the 12th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the 2012 Cotton Bowl, 41-13.
According to Stellino, Joeckel wanted to return to College Station, TX for his senior year in 2013. He had a change of heart though when NFL Draft experts projected him to become a Top 10 pick.
While Luke Joeckel did become a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft, he never lived up to lofty expectations with the Jacksonville Jaguars during his four-year tenure with the franchise.
Pro Football Career
The Jacksonville Jaguars made Luke Joeckel the second overall selection of the 2013 NFL Draft.
“It’s great to be a Jaguar,” Joeckel told The Florida Times-Union. “I’m happy to be here.”
Prior to the draft, experts thought the No. 1 overall selection was a toss-up between Joeckel and Central Michigan Chippewas tackle Eric Fisher.
When the Kansas City Chiefs, who had the first overall pick, took Fisher off the draft board, it was a no-brainer. Luke Joeckel was going to don Jaguars teal, black, and gold.
Joeckel became the first selection of new Jacksonville general manager David Caldwell, per the Jaguars’ official website.
Joeckel also became the sixth straight Top 10 first-round selection of the Jaguars. He became the franchise’s highest selection since it drafted Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Kevin Hardy second overall seventeen years earlier.
The Jaguars made former USC Trojans tackle Tony Boselli their first-ever first-round pick in their expansion season in 1995.
Boselli, ever the consummate professional, called Joeckel and congratulated him on his selection. Joeckel asked the Jaguars legend if they could talk about football over lunch sometime in the future during their conversation.
Boselli became a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro selection in his seven-year career with the Jaguars from 1995 to 2001. He became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the summer of 2022.
Regrettably, Luke Joeckel’s pro football career hardly resembled Tony Boselli’s.
Jaguars fans never saw that coming. In fact, they compared Joeckel to the legendary Boselli when the former first flew into town in 2013. Joeckel told Stellino he considered that comparison an honor.
Joeckel’s mother Reecanne told Stellino her son wanted to play for a city with a rabid fan base. Jacksonville’s population of approximately 950,000 people easily dwarfed College Station, TX’s 125,000. It seemed Luke Joeckel would fit right in.
The Jaguars flew Joeckel’s entire family to Jacksonville, FL on owner Shad Khan’s private jet. They also handed Reecanne Joeckel a crystal bowl bearing the engraving, “1st season 2013,” per The Florida Times-Union.
The Jaguars signed Luke Joeckel to a four-year, $21.2 million guaranteed contract that included a $13.8 million signing bonus on June 23, 2013, per ESPN.
Jacksonville had high hopes that Joeckel, who started his pro football career with the Jaguars at right tackle, and left tackle Eugene Monroe would make a formidable tandem on its offensive line. They also hoped Joeckel would help shore up an offensive line that allowed 50.0 sacks in the 2012 NFL season.
New Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley made Luke Joeckel his starting right tackle in the 2013 NFL campaign. However, Joeckel moved to the starting left tackle spot after Jacksonville traded Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens just four games into the season.
Alas, Joeckel played in just one game at left tackle as a rookie. St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Kendall Langford landed awkwardly on Joeckel’s ankle and consequently fractured it in Week 5. Joeckel had to sit out the rest of the 2013 NFL season.
The Jaguars won just four games in 2013 and missed the postseason for the twelfth time in the past fourteen years.
While Luke Joeckel was recuperating from his season-ending ankle injury, his high school football team, the Arlington Colts, retired his jersey on November 4, 2013.
Joeckel donated $125,000 to Arlington High School the following year. The school allocated $50,000 of Jockel’s donation to scholarships for deserving high school seniors. The school used the remaining amount for other important matters.
Joeckel tried to make up for lost time in the 2014 NFL campaign. He missed just two starts over the next two seasons due to an ankle injury. Joeckel, who had issues against faster pass rushers, allowed a combined 15.0 sacks from 2014 to 2015, per ESPN.
Jacksonville averaged just four wins during those two years and extended its postseason drought to eight seasons.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) November 6, 2013
When Luke Joeckel was in his second pro football season, he noticed that many defensive linemen didn’t flip him over in a pileup. It was a regular occurrence in the college ranks.
While his college football team, the Texas A&M Aggies, required him and the other offensive linemen to wear protective braces on their arms and legs, Joeckel promptly ditched them when he turned pro.
“The NFL is too fast a game,” Joeckel told Sports Illustrated’s Tim Layden in the fall of 2014. “I need that extra step.”
Joeckel was an average left tackle at best in his first three NFL seasons. Consequently, the Jaguars didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on his contract in the spring of 2016.
To make matters worse for Joeckel, Jacksonville picked up former Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum in free agency to compete with him for the Jaguars’ starting left tackle spot in the 2016 NFL campaign.
Beachum beat Joeckel for the starting left tackle position that year. As a result, Bradley moved Joeckel to the left guard spot.
Things turned from bad to worse for Joeckel. The Jaguars placed him on injured reserve after he injured his left knee in an overseas game against the Indianapolis Colts in London on October 4, 2016.
Regrettably, Luke Joeckel had played his final down for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Joeckel took his act to the Pacific Northwest after he played out his contract with the Jaguars. He signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks that included $7 million in guaranteed money in March 2017.
— MIKE FERRERI (@FerreriSports) June 2, 2017
Joeckel started eleven games for the Seahawks at left guard in the 2017 NFL campaign. He missed several games due to an ankle injury and allowed 5.0 sacks – the sixth-most among the league’s guards – in his fifth pro football season.
Although the Seahawks won nine games that year, they missed the postseason for the first time in six seasons.
No team signed Luke Joeckel after he played out his one-year deal with the Seahawks. The former second overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft hasn’t played in the National Football League since 2017.
After Luke Joeckel finished his one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks following the 2017 NFL season, he and his wife moved back to his home state of Texas. He completed his bachelor’s degree in business from Texas A&M University before embarking on a real estate career.
According to Joeckel’s LinkedIn page, he began working for the Dallas, TX-based real estate company PegasusAblon in December 2019. As an associate, Joeckel helps with market analysis, financial modeling, project design, acquisition, and project design.
He also supported the firm’s Generational Asset Program, which is focused on buying multi-tenant, income-producing retail properties throughout the North Texas region.
Joeckel is currently one of PegasusAblon’s senior analysts.
Luke Joeckel became a member of the Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame in the fall of 2022.