LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (FWAA) – Texas A&M offensive
tackle Luke Joeckel, who has served as a protector
and blocker for Heisman Trophy finalist Johnny Manziel, was named
the 67th winner of the Outland Trophy on Thursday
6-6, 310-pound junior from Arlington, Texas, was revealed as the
2012 Outland winner on ESPN during "The Home Depot College Football
Awards" from the Atlantic Dance Hall at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The FWAA selects the Outland Trophy winner from interior linemen
its All-America team, which will be announced next
Friday, Dec. 14. Joeckel beat out Alabama center Barrett Jones,
the 2011 Outland Trophy winner as an offensive tackle, and North
Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, for the third-oldest award in major
Despite its rich football history, Texas A&M has never had
an Outland Trophy winner – or even a finalist – until
Joeckel. Jones was seeking to become only the second player in the
award's history to win it twice after Nebraska center Dave Rimington
won the award in both 1981 and '82.
"It's crazy to think about it," Joeckel said of being named the
top interior lineman in college football. "It is a dream come true.
I am honored by it. I don't think I am one of the best players I
see on film. I am one of my harshest critics, I guess."
Joeckel was a mainstay of the powerful Texas A&M offensive
line that made quite an impact in the school's first season in
the Southeastern Conference, including the Aggies' upset of then
top-ranked and unbeaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Nationally, the
10-2 and AT&T Cotton Bowl-bound Aggies are third in total
offense and scoring offense, 13th in rushing offense, and 14th in passing
Joeckel had a ringside seat watching and playing in front of
Manziel, the freshman quarterback sensation who he said "had
two years of Heisman highlight films in one season." Already,
Manziel has been selected to several All-America teams as he led
the SEC in rushing yards per game (98.4) and shattered the conference's single-season
total offense record (4,600).
"Yes, it's a huge compliment to us," Joeckel added of Manziel's
instant fame as a freshman, including being named one of the three
2012 Heisman Trophy finalists.
Although Texas A&M lost its SEC opener against Florida, Joeckel
said the offensive line adjusted to the speed and talent it encountered.
"The guys in the SEC are bigger, faster, stronger, but the biggest
thing is depth," Joeckel said. "In the Big 12 you might play just
against one guy the whole game (instead of several)."
Joeckel is the fourth SEC player to win the Outland Trophy in
the last six years, starting with LSU's Glenn Dorsey in 2007, Alabama's
Andre Smith in 2008 and then Jones a year ago. While Joeckel is just a junior,
he may have to consider what his NFL Draft
status will be come next April.
"I am just taking it all in," said Joeckel, who is on
schedule to get his degree in business marketing next December.
"I am talking to my family and my coaches. My dream is to play
in the NFL. There are
a ton of things to think about. I believe I'm at the best school
in the entire country. It would be hard to leave such a great school."
The Outland Trophy, named after the late John
Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn in the late 1800s, will
be officially presented on Jan. 10, 2013, in Omaha, Neb., at a banquet
sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. At the same banquet,
Arkansas defensive tackle Loyd Phillips will receive an Outland
Trophy. He was the 1966 winner of the award before trophies were
handed out by the FWAA.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization
founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football
for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists,
as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works
to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America
team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve
Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-713-6198.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College
Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in
1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect,
preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the
game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism
and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards
and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information,
visit the association's official Web site, ncfaa.org.
site (outlandtrophy.com) |
All-time Outland winners
• National College
Football Awards Association (ncfaa.org)
(for logo/photo downloads)
|2012 FWAA ALL-AMERICA
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