Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 1/9/13

It’s not often that we report on early declarations for the NFL Draft here at Crystal Ball Run (we leave that up to the NFL guys) but in terms of Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel, we’ll make an exception. The 6’6 310 lb. Outland Trophy winner announced he would enter the NFL Draft Tuesday afternoon, and may have shaken up the 2013 BCS title race because of it. But before we get to the ramifications, first the news, which Joeckel announced at Tuesday’s Outland awards ceremony: “This was a very difficult decision for me,” Joeckel said. “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.” And with that, the 2013 title chase may have been flipped on top of its head. It’s no secret that regardless of what Joeckel’s decision ended up being, A&M was going to start out the 2013 college football season somewhere in the Top 10. That tends to happen when you have a Heisman Trophy winner returning at quarterback (you’ve probably heard of Johnny Manziel) and a slew of talented skill position players along with him. Ben Molena, Mike Evans and Trey Williams give A&M the most dynamic group of playmakers of anyone in the SEC with the exception of Alabama and possibly Georgia. At the same time, their true title hopes rested on the decisions of Joeckel and fellow offensive tackle Jake Matthews, who had each been projected as Top 10 NFL Draft picks in recent weeks had they chosen to declare. Well on Monday Matthews announced he’d return to school, bringing back one half of the most talented tackle combination in college football. Still it doesn’t replace Joeckel, who will leave A&M a year early as college football’s best lineman and someone projected by some as quite possibly the top overall pick in this April’s draft. It also doesn’t help A&M that they will also lose defensive end Damontre Moore a year early to the NFL, in addition to fellow defensive stars like Jonathan Stewart and Steve Jenkins at linebacker who are both seniors. Joeckel’s departure is a crippling- albeit, understandable blow- to one of college football’s best and most exciting teams entering 2013. The Aggies will remain in the Top 10 in preseason polls, but their road to the title just got a lot tougher. For all his insight, analysis and opinion, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline


Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game

Jack Del Rio: Crabtree ‘stood out’ at first Raiders camp practice

Browns Owner: ‘we haven’t given up on Johnny Manziel’

Junior Seau’s daughter will speak at hall of fame induction

Golden State Warriors: the rich get richer

NFL, Brady could settle to avoid appeal documents going public

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly Philly airport fight

Russell Wilson contract $60 million guaranteed? Not so fast

Bernard Pollard backs Tom Brady, disagrees with suspension

Cardale Jones continues to show love toward Ronda Rousey

Joseph Randle on Steven Jackson: ‘He’s at home watching’

Evan Turner reps Ohio State after NBA Africa game

The Wind Up: a wild and crazy trade deadline

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker