Luke Kuechly prepares to make a tackle during his days at Boston College. (Getty Images)
Few defensive players at Boston College had the career Luke Kuechly enjoyed in just three seasons at Chestnut Hill. Now, he’s being recognized nationally as one of the best to ever play the college game.
The former linebacker has been named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) 75th Anniversary All-America Second Team, celebrating the association’s All-America teams from near the end of the World War II through the 2014 season. Kuechly is second all-time for career tackles and a two-time consensus All-American.
The FWAA was founded in 1941 and has picked an annual All-America team since 1944, making it the season longest continuously selected team in major college football.
Kuechly, now a starting linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, finished his BC career as one of the most decorated defensive players in college football history.
After his junior season in 2011, in which he set the Boston College record with 191 tackles, including 102 solo stop, he earned the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the national defensive player of the year, the Butkus Award given to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker, the Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation’s lineman or inside linebacker of the year and the Lott Impact Trophy given to the defensive player of the year.
Patriots fans remember him for something else. It was Kuechly who held Rob Gronkowski in the end zone on the final play of their Monday night game in 2013 that enable the Panthers to hold on for a
The middle linebacker was a two-time consensus All-American and finished his collegiate career with a school-record 532 tackles, including 299 solo tackles, in 38 games. He holds NCAA records with 15.9 tackles per game for a season, 14.0 tackles per game in a career and 6.13 assisted tackles per game in a career. His 191 total tackles in 2011 ranks second and his 183 in 2010 ranks fourth on the NCAA‘s single-season list, while he is still second all-time for career tackles. The St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati) product recorded at double-digit tackles in 34 of his 38 career games, including a streak of 33 straight games.
He was drafted ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft and earned All-Pro First-Team honors in 2013 and 2014. He was the 2012 NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and the 2013 NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year.
A nomination ballot with selected players from all FWAA All-America teams was sent to the entire membership in the spring of 2015. The popular vote was then taken into consideration by a Blue Ribbon Committee of FWAA past presidents, current board members and officers. That committee put the finishing touches on selecting the 75-man team. In order for a player to be considered for the FWAA’s 75th team, he had to be on a previous FWAA All-America team.
All eight decades in which the FWAA teams have been selected were represented on the 75-man team. In all, there were 56 members of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame and 41 schools represented on the three 25-man teams. For the complete list of, click here.