After eight years of being one of the most productive linebackers of his time, Panthers captain Luke Kuechly is hanging up his cleats at 28.
Kuechly’s resume is thicc: led the NFL in tackles as a rookie, won the Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award (third youngest recipient in history), seven Pro Bowl appearances, five first-team All-Pros, and the 2013 AP Defensive Player of the Year.
After writing out Kuechly’s accolades, it’s a surprising reminder of how scary good he was since being drafted by the Panthers ninth overall in the 2012 draft. He has been an absolute machine, and if he wasn’t so damn humble, maybe I’d be less surprised by the bullet points of his Hall of Fame career.
But outside of being a Catholic boy of simple pleasures, my knowledge of Luke Kuechly The Person is limited. I guess that is the byproduct of Kuechly having 150,000 Instagram followers and not posting a single photo.
Thankfully, former teammates, coaches, and opponents from around the league filled in the blanks. It seems that everyone who has put on an NFL uniform considers Kuechly to be one of the finest men to ever compete.
I have included tributes from several players, but I could keep at this all day.
Find you a friend who speaks about you the way Christian McCaffrey speaks about Luke Kuechly: “not just the best player I’ve ever seen, but the best person I’ve ever met.”