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When Luke Joeckel
entered the 10th grade, everything changed for the Arlington (Texas)
The Colts got focused. The Colts gained an edge. And the Colts started winning.
They’ve had five straight winning seasons, in fact, and now Joeckel is about to put the Texas program officially on the worldwide map by being selected very likely the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NFL draft.
According to four cbssports.com experts
, Joeckel will surely be among the top three picks. Two of the experts figured he’d go No. 1.
The 6-foot-6, 306-pound left tackle was the No. 1 reason why Arlington coach Scott Peach told MaxPreps reporter Aron Yert that the Colts turned the program around. It helped to have his twin brother Matt
— now a Texas A&M backup quarterback behind Heisman winner Johnny Manziel — and a number of other talented sophomores who entered at the same time.
But Peach said: “Luke was the ultimate leader. … He laid the foundation for what the program was supposed to look like.”
And besides his big, athletic frame, that look was this: “He just had a tremendous work ethic,” Peach said. “More than that he had an edge. He was going to find a way to win.”
He also found a way to eat more than his brother. That, Peach said, is why Luke turned into a left tackle and Matt wound up being a quarterback.
Peach remembered taking the twins to “Wayne’s Place” restaurant and having each sibling on either side of him while feasting.
“On one side, Luke ate 26 chicken wings,” Peach recalled. “Matt ate six. Luke grew to 6-6, 310 and Matt 6-5, 230. Luke just ate his way into the position.”
Luke was a quarterback growing up and still claims he can throw the ball further than his brother. No matter. He needed just three college season – 37 straight starts – to show himself as the best offensive lineman in the land.
And this year’s draft is lineman-heavy.
“I predicted when he left high school he’d be a top 10 first-round NFL draft pick,” Peach said. “Knowing the type of kid he is, I predict he’ll be a Pro Bowl lineman in the NFL. He was raised right, he’s an outstanding young man and as long as he stays healthy, the sky is the limit.”