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BC's Kuechly consensus All-American

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  December 14, 2010 03:01 PM

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Barry Chin/Globe Staff
Luke Kuechly (left) led the nation in solo tackles with 102.
The satisfaction kept building each week on the field as linebacker Luke Kuechly led a Boston College defense that helped turn a five-game losing streak into a five-game winning streak, propelling the Eagles into a bowl game for the 12th consecutive year.

With that streak, Kuechly, the Eagles' sophomore middle linebacker, started picking up individual honors. First-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference . . . runner-up for the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker . . . first-team All-America selection by the Football Writers . . . Coaches All America . . . and Walter Camp All-American.

Finally, with the announcement which was made this afternoon, Kuechly completed the sweep, being named first team on the Associated Press's All-American team. He is the 10th consensus All-American selection in Boston College history and the first Eagle chosen since defensive back Jamie Silva in 2007.

In addition to Kuechly and Silva, BCs previous consensus first-team All-America selections include Luke Urban (1920), Gene Goodreault (1940), Mike Holovak (1942), Doug Flutie and Tony Thurman (1984), Mike Ruth (1985), Pete Mitchell (1994), and Mike Cloud (1998).

Kuechly's climb as been as steady as it has been spectacular. He started as an outside linebacker as a true freshman last season, but with the graduation of Mike McLaughlin and the injuries and illnesses suffered by Mark Herzlich, Kuechly was moved to middle linebacker in training camp.

BC coach Frank Spaziani compared it to crossing the expressway at rush hour, but Kuechly never seemed to miss a step, extending his string of games with double-digit tackles to 21, including twice when he was credited with more than 20 tackles. The nation's leading tackler, he also broke the BC single-season record of tackles with 171. His 102 solo tackles also leads the nation.

"He is as good at his position as (former BC quarterback and current Atlanta Falcon QB) Matt Ryan was at his position,'' said Spaziani, who was recruiting in Ohio today. "In all aspects, leadership and obviously production.'''

Kuechly, who came to BC from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, was not highly recruited by major programs such as Ohio State or Notre Dame because he was regarded as too small to play linebacker and not fast enough to play defensive back at the next level. He did both at St. Xavier, but he attracted BC (as well as Virginia and Stanford) because he fit the mold that Eagles coaches look for a player, student and person.

"A typical BC kid,'' said Spaziani, who would have liked to have the luxury of redshirting Kuechly as a freshman, but had little choice when Kuechly began dominating the defensive side of the line of scrimmage from almost the first day that he arrived at BC.

Also, BC senior offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo was a third-team AP All-American selection.

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