The ACC named former Boston College football linebacker Luke Kuechly a member of its 2022 football honors class on Wednesday. Kuechly, who played for the Eagles from 2009–11, is BC’s most decorated defensive player in program history.
A two-time consensus first-team All-American in his sophomore and junior years at BC, Kuechly also won the Butkus Award, the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and the Rotary Lombardi Award his junior year.
In his three years on the Heights, Kuechly recorded 532 total tackles, a school record. He led the nation in total tackles, tackles per game, solo tackles, and solo tackles per game as a sophomore and a junior. He recorded at least 10 tackles in 33 straight games between 2009 and 2011. BC retired his jersey in 2016.
Following his junior season, the Carolina Panthers selected Kuechly with the ninth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. As a rookie for the Panthers, he earned 2012 Associated Press (AP) Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. In 2013, the AP named him the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. At the age of 22, he was the youngest recipient of the award in NFL history.
In 2015, Kuechly signed a five-year, $62 million contract extension with the Panthers—at the time, it was the highest annual average salary for a middle linebacker in the NFL. Alongside Cam Newton, Kuechly led Carolina to the Super Bowl that same year, but the Panthers fell to Denver 24–10.
Kuechly played in Carolina for eight seasons before retiring in 2020. After he retired, Kuechly returned to the Panthers organization as a pro scout before resigning from the job in 2021 to spend more time on his passions outside of football.
After leaving for the NFL three years into his collegiate career, Kuechly continued to take classes at BC and earned his final degree requirements from the Carroll School of Management in 2015.
He’s returned to the Heights a number of times as an ambassador for Project Life Movement, encouraging BC community members to donate their stem cells and bone marrow.
The ACC will honor Kuechly and 13 other honorees at the ACC Football Honors program in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 2.