(WFRV) – Everyone envisions the moment you realize your childhood dream. You’ve played it over and over again in your head, doing whatever it is you wanted to when you were a little kid.
Luke Goedeke is living that moment right now, and somehow it still feels real. “It’s surreal,” he said of the phone call he got from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft. “They said, ‘We’re trading up for you, Luke.’ I’ll be honest with you, I stumbled over my words.”
For the powerful tackle, it’s been a long road to get to this point. A second-round draft pick by a team who’s got one of the greatest, if not the greatest quarterback to ever play the game at the helm.
Goedeke is no stranger to obstacles or perseverance. He’s ready for the challenges ahead and grateful for every opportunity he’s ever had.
“I’m so excited to get to work,” he said on a Zoom call, proudly wearing a shirt with his new team’s logo on it. “They love my versatility and my nastiness as a player. I’m really good at blocking and I can’t wait to get started.”
This whole journey started when Goedeke graduated high school from Valders, with not a whole lot of offers.
“I didn’t really have a recruitment process,” Goedeke said. “So I was at [University of Wisconsin] Stevens Point, playing football there. I won the job for tight end my true freshman year. At the end of that, I knew I wanted to play with the best of the best, so I made a cut-up of myself and sent it to the coaching staff at Central Michigan and the University of Wisconsin.”
He went up to Mount Pleasant for a weekend visit and by the end of it, had an offer for a full scholarship to play for the Chippewas. Goedeke redshirted in 2018, started all 14 games at right tackle in 2019, and then came a roadblock. He got injured and had to miss all of 2020.
“It was hard, it could have gone one of two ways,” Goedeke said. “I could have let it get me down or I could come back stronger. I think it was day three or day four after my surgery, my leg was fully immobilized and I was on crutches. ”
Goedeke said he had his mom load him up into the minivan and take him over to the weight room.
“I was lifting three, four days a week,” he said with a laugh. “People thought I was crazy, hopping around on one leg, carting 45-pound plates around, but I just wanted to come back and be ready.”
2021 started off with a bang and it wasn’t until a quarter of the way through the season that there began to be a buzz that Goedeke could be an NFL draft pick.
“A bunch of agents started calling and I talked to my coaches and they said ‘This could be the year for you.’ But I still had to have a great 2021 season for this to even come to fruition.”
Come to fruition it did, and now Goedeke is slowly coming to terms with the fact that he’ll be blocking for a future Hall of Famer, Tom Brady.
“I’ll be honest with you, I had a Tom Brady jersey growing up,” Goedeke said with a huge grin. “I had to be a closeted Patriots fan growing up in Wisconsin. It’s an honor, getting to block for the greatest football player.”
He’s also very excited about that matchup down in Tampa Bay between the Packers and the Bucs in 2022.
“I’m very excited to beat the Packers this year,” Goedeke said.