“Again, he’s a very special player.’’
After the Aggies wrapped up their 11-2 season with a 41-13 victory over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, Joeckel tested the waters and received a favorable draft grade from the NFL Players’ Association. His decision to leave was a no-brainer. He took out a full-page ad in the student newspaper to explain his decision and express his gratitude for the fans’ support.
“As soon as the year was over, I told him I would support him no matter what he did,’’ Anderson said. “I’m his biggest fan and I want what’s best for him. When he made his decision [to leave], I called him and congratulated him and told him I was excited for him and I was excited about going up to New York to be there when somebody picks him.’’
It wasn’t until his name began to surface as a possible top overall pick that Joeckel thought it would be possible to soar to such dizzying heights.
“It’s just crazy to think about,’’ Joeckel said. “Starting football in the second grade, you don’t really think about that kind of stuff. Football has been a huge part of my entire life. I actually love the game. Just getting to this point, this has been a dream come true.
“Just coming to play in the NFL, being in this situation [as the potential No. 1 overall pick] is just . . . I can’t even imagine it.’’
Shalise Manza-Young of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.