2nd-Year Pro Luke Kuechly Named AP's Top Defensive Player
Feb. 1, 2014
NEW YORK -- Luke Kuechly has been voted The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year, adding the honor to his top defensive rookie award of 2012.
Carolina's All-Pro linebacker received 19 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league in balloting announced Saturday night. He beat out Indianapolis All-Pro linebacker Robert Mathis, who earned 11 1/2 votes.
Kuechly was credited with 96 tackles for a defense that allowed 241 points, fewer than any team except NFC champion Seattle. He also had four interceptions, two sacks, eight passes defensed, and was a presence from sideline to sideline on the NFL's No. 2 unit.
Prior to his professional career, Kuechly was one of the most decorated defensive players in college football history in three years (2009-11) as a starting linebacker at Boston College. A two-time consensus All-America honoree, Kuechly earned the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the national defensive player of the year as a junior; captured the Butkus Award given to the nation's most outstanding linebacker; won the Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation's lineman or inside linebacker of the year; and earned the Lott Impact Trophy given to the defensive player of the year.
He concluded his collegiate career with a school-record 532 tackles, including 299 solo tackles, in 38 games.