A $50,000 endowment fund has been established in memory of former Jacksonville High School graduate and Texas A&M football player Joe Villavisencio, the Jacksonville Education Foundation announced today.
Villavisencio was a three-year starter for Jacksonville High School and graduated in 2008, according to a news release. As a senior, he was 2nd Team All-State from both The Associated Press and the Texas Sports Writers Association; 1st team All-District as junior and senior; 1st Team Academic All-State as a senior and 1st team All-East Texas as a senior.
Villavisencio is characterized in the news release as "one of the most highly recruited lineman in the state of Texas in 2007." He attended Texas A&M, where he was a three-year letterman and majored in radiological health engineering. He died Dec. 22, 2011 in a car accident on his way home to Jacksonville from College Station, according to a news release.
"He was so highly respected by teammates and coaches alike," the news release reads. "His head coach at Texas A&M was Mike Sherman who said, ‘His teammates, coaches and fellow students will remember him as someone who would do anything for anybody. I will always remember him as always offering me a smile whenever we talked and would always answer my questions with a simple, 'yes, coach' or 'no, coach.' He was one of the most respectful and high character players I have ever coached. It was an honor and privilege to have known him, and to have coached him. I will never forget him."
This donation came from professional football player Luke Joeckel, who was the 2013 second overall NFL draft pick and currently plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Joeckel was friends with Villavisencio and played football with him at Texas A&M.
"When I was a young player at A&M, Joey took me under his wing. I saw how he worked his tail off in the classroom and on the football field every day. He was the perfect example of what a student athlete should be," Joeckel said in a prepared statement.
"I did this to honor Joey and so he would not be forgotten. Joey had so much influence on my life and on others. Joey would have been all of our boss and the most successful of all those who played with him."
"Joey treated everyone with respect and was everyone's best friend," he added.