VALDERS, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s not every day that somebody from a village of fewer than 1,000 people hears their name called in the NFL Draft, but for Luke Goedeke, that’s exactly what happened.
To honor Goedeke’s unbelievable achievement, Valders High School retired his football jersey before the boy’s basketball game on Friday night. He was drafted with the 57th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, getting to play with seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady in his final season.
Goedeke caught up with Local 5 News after the ceremony and said it was a surreal moment to have his high school jersey retired, something he never thought was possible.
“It’s an absolute honor to have my jersey retired here at Valders High School,” explained Goedeke. “I know the work and the hours that were put into it and what it took for that to happen and everything. I’m very grateful.”
The 6’5″ offensive guard played Division I football at Central Michigan before going pro, but not before playing Division III football.
“I was kind of in the sense that I’m just going to give it all I got, and if I make it, I make it if I don’t, I don’t,” said Goedeke when asked if he’d ever imagined playing in the NFL. “My goal was playing Division I.”
While the individual grit and grind Goedeke went through was nothing short of sensational, number 67 with Tampa Bay says he couldn’t have done it without the community surrounding him.
“I can’t thank them enough, I mean, they’re a big part as to why I am where I’m at today and everything,” stated Goedeke. “Coach Schneider, he kind of orchestrated this whole thing tonight, and he’s another big reason. The coaching, the practices, the comradery we had continued my love for football.”
Luke Goedeke logged 11 games last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, starting eight of them.
He missed some time with a foot injury but looks ready to make a big impact on the offensive line come year two down in Florida.