Oklahoma football: Sooners on collision course with the nation's best lineman

COTTON BOWL — Outland Trophy winner Luke Joeckel is projected as one of the first players to be selected in the NFL Draft. On Friday in Arlington, the Texas A&M tackle will be the Oklahoma Sooners' problem.
BY JENNI CARLSON Published: January 2, 2013

“We've been lucky,” Joeckel admitted. “We haven't had any significant injuries on the offensive line all year. Not many offensive lines in the country can say that.”

Want to know why Johnny Manziel is able to do some of the things he does?

Start with these big fellas.

And the guy at the head of the line is Joeckel.

He comes from an offensive line family. His dad played the position at Texas Tech, and as long as Luke has played football, he's played offensive line.

At 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, he is extremely athletic and nimble. While he fit well in Texas A&M's offense the past two seasons, blocking for Ryan Tannehill, he has thrived even more in the run-and-gun, dual-threat style that Kevin Sumlin and Manziel ushered in. And he's done so against SEC defenses.

What Joeckel and Matthews have done has opened lots of Sooner eyes.

“Those two guys, they can keep people from closing in,” Stoops said. “They both do a great job of keeping people in front of them and making space around them.”

Sooner co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said, “You really have to understand — they have two great offensive tackles. With the defensive fronts in that league and the pressure they can put on you in the passing game, you've got to have a good offensive line to run that offense. They've got two NFL tackles. First-rounders.”

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