Luke Joeckel's letter to Texas A&M fans: 'A very hard decision'

Ronald Martinez

Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel released a letter to Aggie fans detailing the difficulty of his decision.

Earlier this week, Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel announced he would be foregoing his senior season to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft. Joeckel has been ranked highly on major draft boards and knew that the situation was too good to pass up, so he made the decision to move on.

Joeckel was contrite and forthright about his decision though. He released a letter to the A&M faithful about why he left. He expressed gratitude to almost every individual that touched his life at College Station. Here is a copy of the whole letter via Aggie Athletics.

Dear 12th Man and Texas A&M University,

As you may have heard, I have decided to enter the 2013 NFL Draft and forego my senior season at Texas A&M. While I am excited about my future, I wanted you to know this was a very hard decision. To leave A&M, my brother Matt, my teammates, the coaches and the 12th Man is the toughest thing I have ever done. However, like graduating high school early to come to A&M three years ago, I feel like I again have an opportunity that I cannot pass up.

Before I leave, I want to take this opportunity to thank...

...The 12th Man - You are a major reason I chose Texas A&M. During the recruiting process, I realized that other schools and football programs didn't have the same spirit, support and character that we have here. Every Aggie player is lucky to represent you and I am proud of my three years playing for you.

...My teammates - This year, we were closer than ever. We had the season we did because we all had each other's backs and nobody doubted that. To Jake, Patrick, Cedric, Jarvis and the rest of the guys in that room, I am proud to be a Maroon Goon and thankful to call you my good friends and teammates. I'm also thankful to have had the opportunity to block for Johnny this year. I'm positive he's in good hands with the guys returning to the line next year.

...My coaches - I have been blessed to play for great coaches. Thank you for pushing me to improve in every practice and for leading us so successfully through our first year in the SEC.

...the Mays Business School - I am proud I am part of this great school and I have every intention to finish my degree in the near future. Thank you for equipping me to make this very difficult business decision.

...The Texas A&M Administration - I can't tell you how thankful I am that you moved us to the SEC. As a result of your decision, Texas A&M has many great opportunities - but speaking for myself, your decision meant I had the chance to play against the best competition in the country. That is a major reason why I am in the position I am now.

As I leave College Station to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL, know that I will be back often. Also know that I will do what I can to let everyone know how great A&M is. Hopefully, you feel I have been a good friend and served the 12th Man and University well. I know as I look back, it is you and all the great experiences I've had on and off the field that make me proud to be an Aggie.

Gig 'Em!

Joeckel is currently projected as a top five draft pick in our latest SB Nation mock draft. The Philadelphia Eagles take Joeckel in this latest mock, as they look to fix up issues at tackle with Jason Peters struggling with injuries. Many other NFL teams figure to be interested in Joeckel, and it would be a surprise if he drops too far down the board.

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