Barry Parkhill is a retired American professional basketball player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1st round of the 1973 NBA Draft but elected to play in the American Basketball Association instead. A 6'4" guard-forward from the University of Virginia, Parkhill played in three ABA seasons for two different teams, he played for the Spirits of St. Louis. In 2001, Parkhill was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. Parkhill attended and played basketball for State College High School in State College, Pennsylvania, he broke the 1,000 point barrier during his senior year. Parkhill was named the ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year and the ACC Athlete of the Year for the 1971–72 season when he averaged 21.6 points per game and led the Cavaliers to their second postseason appearance in school history. His number 40 was retired at the end of his senior season. In 2002, Parkhill was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team as one of the fifty greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history.
In his ABA career, Parkhill scored a total of 970 points. His best year as a professional came during the 1975 season with the Virginia Squires appearing in 78 games and scoring 607 points. 1977–1978 – University of Virginia, Graduate Assistant Coach 1978–1983 – Assistant Coach, William & Mary 1984–1987 – Head Coach, William & Mary 1989–1990 – Head Coach, Saint Michael's College 1990–1992 – Assistant Coach, Navy 1992–1994 – Associate Director of Regional Development, University of Virginia Office of Development 1995–1998 – Director of Alumni Development, University of Virginia Alumni Association / Director of Capital Projects for Athletics 1999–present – University of Virginia Associate Director of Athletics for Development
James Ager Worthy is an American former professional basketball player, a commentator, television host, analyst. Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, "Big Game James" was a seven-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA champion, the 1988 NBA Finals MVP with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association. A standout at the University of North Carolina, the 6 ft 9 in small forward shared College Player of the Year honors en route to leading the Tar Heels to the 1982 NCAA Championship. Named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, he was No. 1 pick of the 1982 NBA draft of the defending NBA champion Lakers. Worthy was born in North Carolina, his 21.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game during his senior season at Ashbrook High led the team to the state championship game. Named both a Parade Magazine and McDonald's All-American, he was selected to play in the 1979 McDonald's All-American Game that featured future NBA Hall of Famers Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Ralph Sampson.
After graduating high school, Worthy attended the University of North Carolina. An immediate standout, his freshman year was cut short near mid-season by a broken ankle; as a sophomore, he was a key member of that school's 1981 NCAA runner-up team, starring alongside Al Wood and Sam Perkins. As a junior power forward, Worthy was the leading scorer of a Tar Heels NCAA championship team that featured one of the greatest collections of talent in collegiate basketball history, including future NBA stars Sam Perkins and freshman Michael Jordan. A consensus first team All-American, Worthy shared College Player of the Year honors with Virginia Cavalier Ralph Sampson, he dominated the 1982 championship game against the Georgetown Hoyas, sealing the Tarheels' 63–62 victory by intercepting an inadvertent pass thrown by Hoya point guard Fred Brown with just seconds remaining. His 13–17 shooting, 28 point, 4 rebound finale capped a standout performance throughout the NCAA tournament, earning him its Most Outstanding Player award.
A tip dunk in front of Patrick Ewing captioned "James Worthy slams the door on Georgetown" made the cover of Sports Illustrated. In the wake of this success Worthy elected to enter the NBA draft, he completed his degree via summer school. He is one of eight UNC players to have their numbers retired; the Los Angeles Lakers had received the Cleveland Cavaliers' 1982 first-round draft pick in a 1979 exchange for Don Ford. The Cavaliers finished with the NBA's worst record in the 1981–82 season, leaving a coin toss to decide whether they or the worst record runner-up San Diego Clippers would get the number one pick in the upcoming draft; the Lakers won the first and only time for a reigning league champion. They chose Worthy; the lanky small forward made an impact as a rookie, averaging 13.4 points per game and shooting a Laker rookie record.579 field goal percentage. With his speed, dynamic ability to score with either hand, dazzling play above the rim, Worthy thrived in the Lakers' high-octane "Showtime" offense.
When not finishing fast breaks with his trademark Statue of Liberty dunks or swooping finger rolls, Worthy was one of the best post players at his position, with a quick spin move and a deadly turnaround jumpshot. His rookie year ended just when he was hitting his stride, breaking his leg on April 10, 1983, while landing improperly after trying to tap in a missed shot against the Phoenix Suns, he was still missed the rest of the season and playoffs. Back and healthy for the opening of the 1983–84 season, Worthy's effective play soon had him replacing All-Star and fan favorite Jamaal Wilkes in the starting line-up; the Lakers dominated throughout the Western Conference Playoffs and faced the Boston Celtics in the Finals. The Lakers made many crucial mistakes during the series. Late in Game 2, Worthy made an errant cross-court pass, picked off by Cedric Maxwell and taken in for the game-tying score. Game 2 was won by the Celtics in overtime; the Celtics would go on to win the series in 7 games and despite the late game mistake in game 2, James Worthy had a strong Finals series with 22.1 pts per game on 63.8% shooting.
The Lakers would go into the off-season bitter about the loss and motivated for 1985. With hard driving coach Pat Riley demanding nothing but a championship ring, the Lakers were on a mission of redemption in 1985. Once again they met the Celtics in the Finals, this time decided in LA's favor on the famed parquet floor of the Boston Garden. During the play-off run to title Worthy emerged as a feared clutch performer, he averaged 21.5 points per game on 62.2% shooting in the playoffs, his play and 23.7 points per game against the Celtics in the Finals confirmed him as one of the league's premier players. It was in 1985 that the goggles emerged after Worthy suffered a scratched cornea during a March 13 game at the Utah Jazz and started wearing the eyewear the next game March 15 versus the Spurs and for the rest of his career; the 1985–86 season held tremendous promise for the Lakers, which all disappeared in a preternatural tip in the Western Conference final by 7' 4" Houston Rockets star Ralph Sampson.
Worthy had continued to improve, raising his scoring from 17.6 to 20 points per game on 58% shooting and was named to the first of seven consecutive All-Star appearances. However, it was during the 1986 offseason that rumors were floated about a Worthy trade package to the Mavericks for Mark Aguirre and Roy Tarpley. Lakers GM Jerry West held his ground in favor of keeping Worthy and the trade never materialized; however the Lakers
Phil Ford (basketball)
Phil Jackson Ford Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. He graduated from Rocky Mount Senior High School in 1974, had an All-American college career at North Carolina. Ford played four years of basketball at the University of North Carolina. After his sophomore season, Ford started for the U. S. Olympic team that won the gold medal in 1976. While a senior, he averaged 20.8 points a game during the 1977–78 season. In 1978, Ford finished his career at Carolina as the leading all-time leading scorer in school history with 2,290 points. Ford was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in May 1991. On December 18, 2008, Tyler Hansbrough surpassed Ford's total, he finished his career as the only player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to score over 2,000 points and register at least 600 assists. A consensus All-American in 1976, 1977, 1978, he was named college player of the year in 1978, when he won the Eastman, USBWA College Player of the Year and John R. Wooden Awards.
In 2002 Ford was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team honoring the fifty best players in ACC history. The second pick in the first round of the draft, Ford was NBA Rookie of the Year with the Kansas City Kings in 1979. In 482 NBA games, Ford scored 5,594 points, an 11.6 average, had 3,083 assists, an average of 6.4 per game. He retired from the NBA in 1985. In 1988 he returned to North Carolina as an assistant coach, helped lead the Tar Heels to the 1993 national title. After Smith retired in 1997, Ford became the top assistant to Bill Guthridge. Ford left the school following UNC's 1999-2000 Final Four season, along with the rest of Guthridge's staff, when Matt Doherty took over as head coach with his own coaching staff. Ford works for the Educational Foundation, the fund-raising arm of the University of North Carolina athletic department, he briefly served as color commentator on UNC basketball broadcasts. Ford served as an assistant coach to Larry Brown for the Detroit Pistons.
After a brief stint as an assistant coach to Isiah Thomas for the New York Knicks, Ford was retained in the same position by the Charlotte Bobcats' new head coach Larry Brown from June 2008 to 2010. Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com NBA profile
Joe Hamilton (American football)
Joseph Fitzgerald Hamilton is a former American college and professional football player, a quarterback in three different professional leagues. He played college football for the Georgia Institute of Technology, earned All-American recognition and won several national awards. After his playing career ended, Hamilton became an coach, he has served as the running backs coach for Georgia State University and works in the recruiting department for his alma mater, Georgia Tech. Hamilton accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Georgia Tech, where he played for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team from 1996 to 1999, he set Atlantic Coast Conference career records for total offense, touchdown passes and total touchdowns. As a senior in 1999, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American, won the Davey O'Brien Award, was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, finishing as the runner-up in the Heisman voting behind Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne. In 2002, he was named as one of the fifty members of the ACC 50th Anniversary Football Team.
Hamilton was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014. Due to his lack of prototypical height for an NFL quarterback, he fell to the 7th round of the 2000 NFL Draft before being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In three years with the Buccaneers he only played four downs in a single regular-season game. In 2002, the Buccaneers allocated Hamilton to NFL Europe, where he led the Frankfurt Galaxy to 5-2 record in 2002 before suffering a severe knee injury, he spent the entire 2002 NFL season on injured reserve and was released by the Buccaneers at the end of the season. He received a Super Bowl ring following the Buccaneers' victory in Super Bowl XXXVII, he signed with the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators in 2004 and guided the team to a 9-5 record and the playoffs, despite suffering another knee injury and missing two and a half games. He was signed by the Indianapolis Colts in 2004, reuniting with former Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, but only saw limited action in one game before being released during the season.
He returned to the Orlando Predators. He has a 32-15 record as the Predators' starter and led them to ArenaBowl XX in 2006, losing 69-61 to the Chicago Rush. With a win, Hamilton would have become the first player in history to own both a Super Bowl and ArenaBowl ring. In the 2006 off-season, he was released by the Orlando Predators, he returned to school, received his degree in History and Society in August 2007. "In 2008, following an arrest for a hit and run, DUI, open container and marijuana possession, Joe Hamilton resigned as a Georgia Tech assistant coach—less than two weeks after he was hired. In 2010, he resurrected his coaching career when he became a recruiting intern at Georgia State, which had launched its Georgia State Panthers football team that year. In June 2011, he joined the Panthers' full-time staff as running backs coach. On May 7, 2013 5 years after submitting his resignation, Hamilton was re-hired by Georgia Tech to provide assistance with recruiting for the Yellow Jackets football team.
1996 - Four ACC Rookie of the Week Awards, Runner-up ACC Rookie of the Year 1997 - Two ACC Offensive Back of the Week Awards, Georgia Tech MVP for the Year, MVP of 1997 Carquest Bowl vs West Virginia 1998 - One ACC Offensive Back of the Week Award, 1st Team All-ACC Quarterback, Co-MVP of 1999 Gator Bowl against Notre Dame, led the team to ending 7 year losing streak to the Georgia 1999 - Davey O'Brien Award winner, Runner-up to the 1999 Heisman Trophy, 1st Team All-America Quarterback, 1st Team All-ACC Quarterback, Three ACC Offensive Back of the Week Awards, defeated University of Georgia 51-48 for second straight year in wild overtime victory 2000 - Anthony J. McKelvin Award, ACC Male Athlete of the Year 2002 - ACC 50th Anniversary Football Team 2005 - ACC Football Legends - Inaugural Class 2007 - Received degree from Georgia Tech in History and Society 2014 - Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame List of Arena Football League and National Football League players Georgia State profile Georgia Tech profile
Louis Brian Piccolo was a professional American football player, a running back for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for four years. He died at age 26 from embryonal cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of germ cell testicular cancer, first diagnosed after it had spread to his chest cavity. Piccolo was the subject of the 1971 TV movie Brian's Song, with a remake TV movie filmed in 2001, he was portrayed in the original film by Sean Maher in the 2001 remake. Born in Pittsfield, Piccolo was the youngest of three sons of Joseph and Irene Piccolo; the family moved south to Fort Lauderdale, when Piccolo was three, due to his parents' concerns for his brother Don's health. Piccolo and his brothers were athletes, he was a star running back on his high school football team although he considered baseball his primary sport, he graduated from the former Central Catholic High School in Fort Lauderdale in 1961. Piccolo played college football at Wake Forest in North Carolina, he led the nation in rushing and scoring during his senior season in 1964, was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, yet went unselected in the both the AFL and NFL drafts.
In the balloting for the Heisman Trophy won by John Huarte of Notre Dame, Piccolo was tenth, just ahead of Joe Namath of Alabama and future teammate Gale Sayers of Kansas. A season earlier in 1963, Darryl Hill of the University of Maryland was the first and only African-American football player in the ACC. According to Lee Corso, a Maryland assistant coach at that time, Wake Forest had "the worst atmosphere" of any campus the Maryland football team visited. Piccolo went over to the Maryland bench, walked Hill over to the area in front of the student section and put his arm around him, silencing the crowd. Following his spectacular senior season Piccolo married his high school sweetheart, Joy Murrath, on December 26, 1964, they had three daughters: Lori and Kristi. Because he was not selected in the 1965 NFL draft or AFL draft, Piccolo tried out for the Chicago Bears as a free agent, he made the team for the 1965 season, but only on the taxi squad, meaning he could practice but not suit up for games.
In 1966, he made the main roster but his playing time was on special teams. In 1967 he got more playing time backing up superstar starting tailback Gale Sayers, which increased after Sayers' knee injury in November 1968. Piccolo's biggest statistical year was 1968, during which he posted career bests with 450 yards on 123 carries, two touchdowns, 28 receptions for 291 yards. In 1969, Piccolo was moved up to starting fullback, with Sayers returning as tailback, placing the two in the same backfield on offense. Players at that time were still segregated by race for hotel-room assignments. At the suggestion of the Bears' captain, the policy was changed and each player was reassigned by position, so that wide receivers would room together, quarterbacks would room together, etc. Running back was the only position on the 1969 Bears with one black and one white player and Piccolo, respectively; the Bears were in the worst record in their history. Piccolo had earned a place in the starting lineup as an undersized fullback.
Their first win came in the eighth game on November 9, a 38–7 home win over struggling Pittsburgh and Piccolo opened the scoring at Wrigley Field with a 25-yard touchdown reception. The next week in Atlanta, he scored a fourth quarter touchdown on a one-yard run, voluntarily removed himself from the game, something he had never done, raising great concern among his teammates and coaches. Breathing while playing had become difficult for him, so when the team returned to Chicago he was promptly sent for a medical examination and diagnosed with embryonal cell carcinoma. Soon after initial surgery at Sloan-Kettering in New York City to remove the tumor, he underwent a second procedure in April 1970 to remove his left lung and pectoral muscle. Bothered by chest pain afterward, he was re-admitted to the hospital in early June and doctors determined the cancer had spread to other organs his liver, he died in the early morning of June 16 at the age of 26. The month before Piccolo's death, Gale Sayers was accepting the George S. Halas Award for Most Courageous Player and told the crowd that they had selected the wrong person for the award.
He said, "I love Brian Piccolo, I'd like all of you to love him, too. Tonight, when you hit your knees to pray, please ask God to love him, too."Sayers and Dick Butkus were among the six Bears teammates who served as pallbearers at Piccolo's funeral at Christ the King Catholic Church in Chicago on June 19. He was buried at Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery in Illinois. In 1972, Brian Piccolo Middle School 53 opened in Queens, New York on Nameoke Street in Far Rockaway; the school name was chosen by students after the first airing of Brian's Song. The football jersey that belonged to Brian Piccolo, displayed in the lobby has been missing since the school was renovated in the late 1990s. In August 1973, Orr Middle School, located on the West Side of Chicago on Keeler Avenue, was renamed after Piccolo to the Brian Piccolo Specialty School. In 1980, students at Wake Forest, Piccolo's alma mater, began the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive in his memory, they raised money for the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Bowman Gray Medical Center of Wake Forest University.
In addition, the Brian Piccolo Student Volunteer Program was established to provide undergraduates with an opportunity to
Arthur Bruce Heyman was an American professional basketball player. Playing for Duke University in college, in 1963 he was USBWA Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year, UPI Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year, Helms Foundation College Player of the Year, a consensus first-team All-American, ACC Player of the Year, ACC Athlete of the Year; that year he was the first overall pick in the first round of the 1963 NBA draft. He went on to have a 310 game professional career in the NBA and ABA. Heyman, Jewish, was born in New York City, lived in Rockville Centre, New York, Oceanside, New York. After attending Oceanside High School in Nassau County, New York, the 6'5" guard/forward was recruited by many schools, signed a letter of intent to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels. At the last moment, Heyman changed his mind and agreed to play for the Tar Heels' greatest rivals, the Duke Blue Devils. Due to NCAA eligibility rules that prohibited freshmen from playing varsity sports, Heyman played his first year at racially segregated Duke with the freshman team, which compiled a record of 10–5, including three victories over the Tar Heels.
During one of the Duke-North Carolina freshman games, North Carolina freshman Dieter Krause attacked Heyman, leading to a melee where the two coaches had to be restrained from attacking each other. Heyman needed five stitches after the attack. During his sophomore season, Heyman starred for the varsity team, North Carolina and Duke again were at each other's throats. On February 4, 1961, the Duke and North Carolina freshman teams had played the first game of the double header. There were multiple fights during the game, North Carolina had finished the game with only three players on the floor. During the varsity game that night, Heyman was involved in two incidents, where he first pushed over a fan who he thought was attacking him, in the closing minutes of the game, while trying to protect a slim Duke lead, Heyman committed a hard foul against future Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, attempting to drive to the hoop. Brown threw the ball and a punch at Heyman, touching off a general melee, which saw future basketball executive Donnie Walsh a substitute player for North Carolina attack Heyman.
The melee lasted about ten minutes, despite Heyman being ejected for fighting, his 36 points had given Duke the victory, 81–77. Brown and Heyman were all suspended for the remainder of the ACC season. Heyman was allowed to play in non-conference games, the ACC Tournament. However, Duke failed to make the postseason, despite Heyman being voted the tournament's outstanding player, losing the ACC Tournament final to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and their All American Len Chappell, 96–81. At the time, only the league champion was admitted to the NCAA Tournament, league rules prohibited ACC teams from playing in the NIT Tournament. Heyman finished the season averaging 25 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game, despite his suspension, Heyman was voted to the All-ACC basketball first team, he won numerous national plaudits, being named to the UPI and AP Third-Team All American squad. In 1962, Heyman's junior year, he again had a great year (scoring 25.3 points per game, averaging over 11 rebounds per game, but Duke failed to make the post season, being upset by the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Tournament semi-final.
Heyman was once again voted to the All-ACC Basketball first team, the AP and UPI Second Team All-American squad. However, during Heyman's 1963 senior year, Heyman unleashed his best season yet. Duke won the regular season conference title, but to make the NCAA tournament, they would have to win the ACC Tournament, their first game was against 8th seed Virginia, a game in which the Blue Devils won handily, 89–79. In the tournament semi finals, the Blue Devils defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack, 82–65. In the final, they had a chance to get revenge for the 1961 tournament final loss, as they faced off against Wake Forest. Heyman and Duke avenged that 1961 loss, defeating the Demon Deacons 68–57, earning the Blue Devils the right to play in the 1963 NCAA Tournament; the Blue Devils were given a bye to play in the round of 16, they defeated New York University, who had Happy Hairston and Barry Kramer, 81-76 in the East regional semi-finals, with Heyman scoring 22 points, adding 13 rebounds.
In the East Regional final and the Blue Devils defeated Saint Joseph's University, 73–59, to advance to the Final Four for the first time in school history. Despite Heyman's 29 points and 12 rebounds in the semi-finals, the Blue Devils succumbed 94-75 to eventual national champion Loyola of Chicago. In the consolation game, Heyman completed his college career when Duke defeated Oregon State 85-63. In this game, Heyman scored 22 points, added seven rebounds. Art Heyman was named MVP of the 1963 NCAA tournament though Duke finished third. Heyman again won the plaudits of the sportswriters, winning the AP National Player of the Year award, the ACC Player of the Year award, the Oscar Robertson Trophy. Heyman averaged 25.1 points per game and scoring 1,984 points while at Duke University, which were both school records at that time. Heyman is one of three athletes in ACC History to have been elected unanimously to the All-ACC Men's Basketball team three times, along with David Thompson and Tyler Hansbrough.
Heyman's success in college led to him being selected first in the 1963 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. During his first season with the team, he averaged
Luke August Kuechly is an American football linebacker for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Panthers ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, he played college football at Boston College where he was recognized twice as a consensus All-American. Kuechly had an immediate impact his rookie season, as he led the NFL in tackles and won the Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, becoming the third youngest recipient in its history. In 2013, Kuechly became the youngest recipient of the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in its history. Kuechly was born in Cincinnati and grew up in Evendale, Ohio, he attended St. Xavier High School in the Finneytown area of Cincinnati, where he played linebacker and safety for the football team; as a junior in 2007 he had 147 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions, a touchdown as a linebacker. He helped his team go 15-0, winning the Division 1 Ohio state title, finishing at the top of several national polls as the best high school team in America.
As a senior in 2008, he had 130 tackles, a sack, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Kuechly was a two-time All Greater Catholic League selection at St. Xavier, gaining first-team honors in 2008. Regarded as a three-star recruit, Kuechly was listed as the No. 44 outside linebacker prospect in the class of 2009, headed by Jelani Jenkins and Nico Johnson. After official visits to Boston College, Virginia and Stanford, Kuechly committed to the Eagles in January 2009. Kuechly attended Boston College, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, where he played for the Boston College Eagles football team from 2009 to 2011. Boston College retired his jersey on October 22, 2016; as a true freshman in 2009, Kuechly became the Eagles' starting outside linebacker after Mark Herzlich announced that he would miss the season after being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. He finished the season with 158 tackles, which led the team and conference, as well as being second nationally.
He was the first true freshman in team history to lead the team in tackles and broke the freshman tackle record set by Stephen Boyd in 1991. He had a sack and returned an interception for a touchdown. For his play, he was named the 2009 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and was on the 2009 CFN All-Freshman Defensive Team. CFN named the true freshman Kuechly to its All-America team. Kuechly moved to middle linebacker at the beginning of his sophomore season, he went on to lead the country with 183 tackles and had an ongoing streak of 21 straight games with at least 10 tackles at the end of the season. Kuechly was named a finalist for the Nagurski Award, he broke the school single season record for tackles, topping the previous record of 165, held since 1991 by Tom McManus. After the season, Kuechly was named a unanimous first-team All-American, he was the first consensus All-American for the Eagles since Jamie Silva in 2007. Boston College played in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at the end of the season and Kuechly was named the defensive MVP for a second time.
Kuechly led the nation with 191 tackles during the season. Kuechly compiled his stats in the 12-game regular season, as the team finished with a 4-8 record and was ineligible for post-season play, he still broke the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision single-season tackle record and did break the single season tackles-per-game record with 15.9. He broke his own conference single-season tackle records set just a year earlier. In only three seasons of play, Kuechly set the Boston College and ACC career tackle records with 532 tackles, eclipsing the previous record of 524 held by Stephen Boyd and only 13 short of the NCAA FBS record held by Tim McGarigle. On December 4, Dick Butkus presented the 2011 Butkus Award to Kuechly at the Boston College team banquet a week before the expected formal announcement of the recipient. Kuechly went on to win the Lombardi Award, the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American for the second consecutive year.
FWAA 75th Anniversary All-America Team ACC Athlete of the Year 3× First-team All-American 3× First-team All-ACC Butkus Award Lombardi Award Lott IMPACT Trophy Bronko Nagurski Trophy Jack Lambert Award ACC Defensive Player of the Year Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Defensive MVP ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Emerald Bowl Defensive MVP On January 6, 2012, Kuechly announced his intention to forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2012 NFL Draft. At the time of his announcement, he was rated the top linebacker available in this draft: Mel Kiper Jr. ranked him tenth on his "Big Board", while Todd McShay ranked him thirteenth in his "Top 32". Kuechly squashed any lingering doubts about his athleticism with his performance at the combine and pro day workouts, demonstrating rare pass coverage abilities which would allow him to be a "three-down" inside linebacker which raised his draft stock further. Kuechly was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the first round: the first linebacker selected and the ninth overall pick.
On May 10, 2012, Kuechly signed $12.58 million contract. Ku