On Saturday, Boston College football legend Luke Kuechly will have his jersey retired during a halftime ceremony in the BC-Syracuse game. On Friday afternoon, Kuechly took a bit of a pre-ceremony victory lap in a press conference with members of the media.
Kuechly and fellow BC legend Doug Flutie spoke about their time at BC, what they’ve learned since, and what this weekend means for the future of the program.
Kuechly left BC as the record-holder for tackles in a single season with 191. He earned the Bronco Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s top defensive player, in his junior season. Kuechly was drafted ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, whom he still plays for today.
Looking back at his time on the Heights, Kuechly recalls fond memories, both on and off the field. When asked about his favorite moment away from the football field, he cited free time spent on the first floor of Edmond’s Hall with all of his buddies from the team.
“This weekend is special,” Kuechly said. “When I was at school, we always had summer workouts in the stadium. The things that’s always stayed the same in that stadium were the Mike Ruth and Doug Flutie jerseys up there. You thought always one day maybe you could be up there on the wall with those guys, and I’m very honored.”
Originally from Cincinnati, Kuechly was attracted to BC because of its Jesuit affiliation, commitment to academics, and location in the Boston area. He was thrust into a starting position in his freshman year because of an unexpected cancer diagnosis for incumbent starter Mark Herzlich, and he made the most of his opportunity.
In addition to his physical tools, Kuechly was (and still is) widely praised for his motor and drive on the field.
“I think that’s one thing that BC stresses, is effort and working hard,” Kuechly said. “When you take a play off and everyone on the whole team can see it, that’s the worst feeling. You don’t want to be the guy that’s taking it off and running slow.”
Throughout his time at BC, Kuechly was never the guy who got caught dogging it. He has former players like Flutie, Herzlich, and other mentors to thank for setting the tone. Because of that, he’ll be getting his name raised to the Alumni Stadium rafters on Saturday afternoon.
Featured Image by Alex Trautwig / Heights Archive