Former St. Xavier standout Luke Kuechly was selected with the ninth overall pick in Round 1 of the NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers.
The 6-foot-3, 242-pound inside linebacker enjoyed a prolific college career at Boston College where he became one of the most decorated defensive players in college football history.
He finished his collegiate career with a school-record 532 tackles, including 299 solo tackles, in 38 games. The former Bomber ranks among the NCAA career leaders in several defensive statistical categories - career total tackles (532; second), career total tackles per game (14.0; first), career solo tackles (299; sixth) and career solo tackles per game (7.87; second).
The junior twice captured the NCAA statistical championship in both tackles per game (14.1 in 2010 and 15.9 in 2011) and solo tackles per game (8.5 in 2010 and 8.5 in 2011) and recorded at least 10 tackles in 34 of 38 career games, including a streak of 33 straight games from Oct. 3, 2009 - Nov. 19, 2011
"I'm jacked up," Kuechly told the Boston Globe. “I'm so pumped up that they were interested in me and wanted me on their team. It’s an honor."
Kuechly said he will fly to Charlotte on Friday, then fly back home to Cincinnati on Saturday, before heading back to North Carolina for rookie minicamp. "I've still got a lot of things to do," he said, "but this is great."