A&M's Mike Sherman praises freshmen tackles

January, 6, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman was asked about left tackle Luke Joeckel and his impact this season during his news conference Wednesday. The offensive line jelling together has been a big reason why the team has played so well down the stretch, creating holes for the running game and protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

"[Joeckel] is a young man that came in the spring," Sherman said. "We knew he’d be a great player, but you never know how soon they’re going to be able to mature. He went through spring and I put him in at starting left tackle right from the get go because I just believed he would be our best option at that time.

"For the first six ball games, he had some ups and downs but fought through them. Then he just started to grow up and mature and really became a strength and a staple for our offensive line. Our other true freshman, LT Jake Matthews, on the other side wasn’t able to come to spring ball so it took him a little longer to teach him the offense. But when he was able to get in there, he’s done a very good job for us. We have those two guys back for another three years. We’re excited about it. They’re two book ends and they’re big kids, they’re athletic, they work hard, they’re smart and they’re tough football players. They’re both going to have great days ahead at Texas A&M and down the road."

Watch those guys on the line Friday night. They've got to contain a tough LSU defensive line and give the Aggies a chance to chew up yards on offense.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.



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