Kuechly was born on April 20, 1991 in Cincinnati, Ohio. While at St. Xavier High School, he played linebacker and safety. As a junior, he led his team to a Division 1 Ohio state title and had 147 tackles, six sacks, and two interceptions. He followed season with 130 tackles as a senior.
He was considered a three-star recruit and was listed as the 44th-best outside linebacker in the nation. He chose to go to Boston College over Virginia, Duke, and Stanford.
As a true freshman, Kuechly became the starter. He led the team and the ACC with 158 tackles and was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
He had 183 tackles as a sophomore and 191 tackles as a junior. He was a consensus All-American both seasons after he led the nation in tackles each year.
Kuechly finished his three-year career as the NCAA All-Time leader in Solo tackles (299) and total career tackles (532).
Kuechly was drafted with the ninth pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Panthers.
After starting his rookie season at outside linebacker, Kuechly was moved to the middle after Jon Beason got hurt and was forced to miss the rest of the season. That year, Kuechly led the league with 164 tackles. He added one sack, two interceptions, and three fumble recoveries on his way to being named the 2012 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was the second player in franchise history to receive the award.
Kuechly would go on to be named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, his second season in the league. He became the second player in NFL history to be named the Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in consecutive seasons. He finished 2013 with 166 tackles, two sacks, four interceptions, and eight pass deflections. He was also named First-Team All-Pro and to the Pro-Bowl in 2013.
|2013 Regular Season||124||32||156||2.0||2||10||4||33||30||0||0||0||0||0|
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