Both literally and figuratively, Texas A&M has suffered a significant loss heading into its first full offseason as a member of the SEC.
Following up on speculation that’s been running rampant in recent weeks and increased in intensity the past couple of days, offensive tackle Luke Joeckel officially confirmed that he’s foregoing his senior season for the NFL. While he had been leaning toward an early NFL leap, a final decision by the talented lineman wasn’t made until today.
“This was a very difficult decision for me,” Joeckel said in a statement. “I have thought long and hard and visited with my family and coaches. I feel it is in my best interest to come out. I appreciate all that Texas A&M has done for me and my family. It is tough to leave a great group of coaches and players, including my twin brother Matt. I know they will have a great season in 2013 and I will remain their biggest fan. … One thing that is certain, I am an Aggie and will always be an Aggie.”
Joeckel was a first-team All-American and All-SEC selection in 2012, named the winner of the Outland Trophy as well as the prestigious Jacobs Blocking Trophy given annually to the top lineman in the conference. From the first game of his true freshman season through the Aggies’ bowl win earlier this year, he started every game, 39 in all, at left tackle.
He’s considered one of a handful of players who could potentially be selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft.
“Luke is projected to be one of the top players selected in the overall draft,” Aggie head football coach Kevin Sumlin said. “We appreciate everything he has done for Aggie football and Texas A&M and wish him well in the NFL.”
Just 27 hours shy of receiving his degree, Joeckel said in the release that he has “every intention of finishing as soon as possible.”
The Aggies are still awaiting an official decision from Jake Matthews, the other half of the best tackle combination in college football
LSU coach Les Miles is one of the more interesting figures in college football, as you all know.
To that point: He’s had the market cornered on Australian punters for the last six seasons. First it was Brad Wing — who was awesome, unlike the officiating in that video — in 2010 and 2011, then it was Jamie Keehn, who punted for LSU from 2012-2015.
But fear not, LSU has another Aussie punter this year in redshirt freshman Josh Growden. Take it away, Les:
I can only imagine Miles is referring to this when he said “speak Australian:”
Ohio State suspended wide receiver Torrance Gibson for the season, but the decision to ban the redshirt freshman didn’t come from coach Urban Meyer or the athletic department.
Meyer made that distinction known on Monday, via ESPN.com:
“It was not from the athletic department or football,” Meyer said during his weekly news conference Monday. “I disagree with it.”
Meyer didn’t provide any details on what transpired or what, if anything, could be done about it given his opposition to the discipline. Ohio State has not commented on the nature of the violation.
Gibson was suspended for a violation of Ohio State’s student code of conduct. He was previously suspended for a game during the 2015 season, a year in which he redshirted.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said running back Nick Chubb, who tore his PCL last year in a gruesome injury, is 100 percent ready to go for the Bulldogs’ opener Saturday against North Carolina.
Smart said Chubb won’t be on a “pitch count,” confirming that the star running back won’t be limited at all in Week 1. His availability will be key for a Georgia offense that hasn’t named a starter yet, though could very well go with true freshman Jacob Eason over senior Greyson Lambert.
Chubb, who was injured Oct. 10 last year in Georgia’s loss to Tennessee, carried 92 times for 747 yards with seven touchdowns in 2015. The junior has 2,294 yards and 21 touchdowns to his name since exploding onto the national scene as a freshman in 2014.
Unlike his counterpart in Austin, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder revealed who his starting quarterback for Week 1 will be on today’s Big 12 teleconference.
Jesse Ertz, who started K-State’s season opener last year only to suffer a season-ending torn ACL on the first play of the game, will get the nod for the Wildcats’ opener at Stanford on Friday.
Ertz beat out Joe Huebner and Alex Denton to win the job back.
“In all reality, he’s been more consistent than the other two,” Snyder said.
K-State went 6-7 last year with Huebner as its quarterback and lost to Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl. Huebner completed 47.6 percent of his passes for 1,837 yards with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and also rushed 180 times for 613 yards with 13 touchdowns.
Ertz, a former two-star recruit from Burlington, Iowa, hadn’t appeared in a college game before suffering that season-ending injury against South Dakota State last year.