Breaking News: Former Boston College Linebacker Luke Kuechly Retires From NFL
In a stunning announcement today, Carolina Panthers and Boston College alumni Luke Kuechly retired at age 29 according to his video announcement on Twitter:
Kuechly came to Boston College as an under recruited linebacker out of St. Xavier in Ohio. As a true freshman he earned a starting outside linebacker role after star linebacker Mark Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. He immediately made an impact leading the Eagles in tackles. His sophomore year he moved back inside where he again led the team in tackles, breaking the team's tackle record in the process.
His senior season was marked with a league leading 191 tackles, along huge plays including three interceptions. He seemingly won game for an Eagles team that was light on talent around him, flying around the field. His regular season career at Boston College ended with a game winning touchdown against Miami.
His head coach coach Frank Spaziani thought that he should be a Heisman candidate "He could go to any team and any system and be the star," he said. "I don't know if some of those others guys could do that. Take one of the running backs, put him on our team. Is he gonna win the Heisman? Why not? He's the best football player in the country. Oh, he didn't produce because you couldn't block for him."
Kuechly left Boston College as a junior in 2011 to enter the NFL Draft after winning every possible award he was eligible for, including the Lombardi Award, Butkus Award, and Nagurski Award.
In the NFL, Kuechly continued to dominate with the Carolina Panthers who drafted him in the first round. He started to rack up hardware when he won the NFL Rookie of the Year in 2012 where he racked up 164 tackles. In 2013 he continued his meteoric rise, breaking the single game tackle record with 24, and winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.
In 2015 Kuechly became the highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL and showed why on the field. He played through a torn labrum and his Carolina Panthers made the Super Bowl but fell to Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The injuries continued to pile up for Kuechly, as he suffered concussions in 2016 and 2017, but he still played at an elite level and remained one of the best linebackers in the league until his announcement today
Now that his playing days are over, it is on to a new career. Kuechly seems tailor made to be a coach either at the pro or collegiate level. And according to his video it sounds like that is where he his post retirement career is heading. Wouldn't it be great to see him coach with the new staff in Chestnut Hill?
I think I can speak for Boston College fans everywhere. Thank you for the memories Luke, and enjoy your well earned retirement.