St. Xavier Alum Kuechly Big Winner At NFL Honors


Posted at 02/02/2014 at 11:23am

St. Xavier High School graduate Luke Kuechly, a member of the Bombers’ Class of 2009, was a big winner at the NFL Honors awards program Saturday night in New York City, when the second-year Carolina Panthers’ linebacker was named the National Football League Defensive Player of the Year after helping his team’s defense become one of the league’s best en route to an NFC South Division championship and playoff berth.

Kuechly, who had 156 tackles (fourth best in the NFL) and four interceptions this season, received the honor on the eve of Super Bowl XLVIII – getting more votes from a panel of 50 media members who cover the NFL than Robert Mathis of the Indianapolis Colts, Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks and Vontaze Burfict of the Bengals.  Kuechly, who helped the Panthers go 12-4 in the regular season by allowing just 301.2 yards and 15.1 points per game (both second best in the league), has averaged 10 tackles a game in his first two NFL seasons – more than anyone else.

After earning All-American honors three of his four seasons at Boston College, Kuechly was chosen with the ninth overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.  He led the NFL in tackles in 2012, with 164, and was named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.  The 6-f00t-3, 235-pound Kuechly was a standout defensive player while at St. Xavier.  A two-time All-GCL South selection, Kuechly helped lead the Bombers to a 15-0 record, a GCL South title and the eventual Ohio Division I state championship during his junior season in 2007.