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NFL’s defensive rookie of the year Luke Kuechly returns to Boston College relatively unnoticed

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Luke Kuechly spent the past year making a name for himself with the Carolina Panthers in the NFL.

He led the league with 164 tackles and was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

But that has meant very little to Boston College students who are so buried in their winter coats that they haven’t even bothered to notice Kuechly’s return to campus and class.

And he’s totally OK with that.

Unlike teammate Cam Newton, who’s return to Auburn has been the talk of the town, Kuechly has been leading a relatively low-key lifestyle despite his NFL fame.

He currently lives in the dorms – yes, the dorms – with a former Boston College teammate, he works out in the BC weight room and he attends basketball games like any other student.

He even decided to chuck his ticket to the Super Bowl because he had an early marketing class the following Monday.

It’s kinda like he never left to earn accolades, prestige and millions of dollars.

“It’s great. I’m right on campus. Everything’s real close. I can get everywhere easily,” Kuechly said during a phone interview with the Charlotte Observer. “We have a kitchen in the dorm to cook food. So it’s working out.”

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Kuechly left Boston College following his junior season, but promised his parents, Tom and Eileen, he would return to finish his degree.

He’s taking five classes - marketing research, applied marketing, operations management, social media and an independent study course – and is currently contemplating spending a couple days in Florida for spring break.

Kuechly’s goal is to finish his classes in time for Panthers’ preseason camp.

Kuechly told the Charlotte Observer he doesn’t mind being able to wander the BC campus in relative obscurity. He actually kind of likes it. He knows he’s not as much of a household name as Newton and despite being the No. 9 overall pick last year and inking a four-year contract worth $12.6 million, he said he’s good living the simple life.

“I guess that’s how I’ve always been, how we’ve been as a family. Don’t think you’re a big shot or better than anyone,” Kuechly said. “Just live your life, be nice to people and people will be nice to you.”

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