‘Nasty guy’ Luke Goedeke ate 7,000 calories a day during transition to OL at CMU

Detroit Free Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Luke Goedeke had designs on being an NFL tight end when he reported for his first day of football practice at Central Michigan in 2018, even if his coaches secretly saw his future at a different position.

A transfer from Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Goedeke showed up to the equipment room and was told the only cleats available in his size were for an offensive lineman.

Undeterred, Goedeke spent the next week and a half slipping and sliding across the practice field before he approached his position coach, Tavita Thompson, and asked what he could do to crack the playing rotation.

MORE FROM 2022 COMBINE: Lions need ‘conviction’ to draft from this year’s questionable QB crop 

Thompson, a former Oregon State offensive tackle, suggested Goedeke switch to offensive line.

“They told me this past year, which I had a feeling that was the plan all along, to just transition me to the offensive line,” Goedeke said. “But it worked out in the end, so no complaints.”

Once a self-described “negative two-star” recruit, Goedeke now projects as a mid-round pick and one of the best feel-good stories in April’s NFL draft.

Goedeke had no Division I scholarship offers coming out of Wisconsin’s Valders High School and declined the little recruiting attention he received from CMU after playing through a painful shoulder injury his senior year of high school.

He enrolled at Wisconsin-Stevens Point to pursue a degree in chemical engineering and paper science, decided he needed football in his life, and talked his way into a scholarship at CMU after starting his only season at tight end for the Pointers.

“My goal was to play Division I football, or play NFL eventually but I thought the way to get there was I had to play Division I football,” Goedeke said. “So I kind of had this mindset like, ‘All right, I got to start somewhere. I’m not giving up this dream.’ Like that’s not who I am at the end of the day. I’m a grinder.”

Goedeke, who caught 12 passes for 132 yards in his one season at Wisconsin-Stevens Point, emailed coaches at CMU and Wisconsin asking for a walk-on opportunity and was unexpectedly offered a scholarship during a visit to Mount Pleasant.

He said he connected with then-CMU coach John Bonamego during his trip because of his mentality as “a finisher.”

“I’m a nasty guy,” he said. “Like, there’s not much greater feeling I get than imposing my will on another grown man and driving him into the dirt, whether that was at tight end or offensive line. And offensive line I’m able to do it a lot more, so this is right up my alley.”

HOG HUNTIN’: Arkansas WR Treylon Burks could fill big need on Lions offense

ANOTHER CHIP: From Austria to NFL draft boards, CMU’s Bernhard Raimann is living a dream

A 265-pound tight end at Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Goedeke slimmed down to 250 pounds by the time he arrived at CMU, then spent his first year on campus bulking up again.

He ate six to seven meals a day, shoveling as many as 7,000 calories in his body, and gained 35 pounds by the time he won the starting right tackle job in 2019.

“I’d try and gorge myself and eat until I couldn’t eat anymore, feel like I’m going to puke and stuff,” Goedeke said. “But just knew I had to gain weight to play the position and I’m all about the position so I’m just going to grind in the weight room and eat my ass off at the end of the day.”

Goedeke said he has been as health-conscious as possible while continuing to add weight the past two years. He weighs about 315 pounds now and swears off most fast food.

“I believe at the end of the day, you put crap in your body you’re going to get crap out,” he said.

One of two CMU linemen (left tackle Bernhard Raimann is a potential top-50 draft pick) at the NFL combine this week, Goedeke will compete in the bench press Friday but sit out other drills as he rehabs from a hamstring injury he suffered at the Senior Bowl and aggravated in training last month.

While injuries could impact Goedeke’s draft stock — he missed all of CMU’s COVID-shortened 2020 season after knee surgery — he said he believes he can be a starting tackle, guard or center in the NFL.

Goedeke played only right tackle at CMU, but was ticketed to play guard at the Senior Bowl and had been training at all three positions before injuring his hamstring.

“I think I can be great at either three of those positions, and whatever a team sees fit for me, I’ll bust my ass and work my ass off to be the best I can for them,” he said. “And then just having that backup versatility as well, kind of be a two-people-in-one kind of guy, but still maintain the starter role and everything.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

Articles You May Like

Thursday: Top 5 BREAKOUT Players Ft. Jameson Williams, Jack Campbell, and Mitchell Argude
Mailbag: Biggest villain in 2024, Jahmyr Gibbs or Jameson Williams?
Open thread: Which remaining free agent should the Lions add?
Barry Sanders reveals a recent health scare with his heart
Detroit Lions Rumors: Trade For Brandon Aiyuk? Jared Goff BASHED By ESPN + Jameson Williams Trade

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *