Kuechly’s final season at BC was a record-setter, taking the conference and team records in tackles, leading the nation in said category, and winning, amongst other accolades, the Butkus, Lombardi, and Lott Impact awards.
He enters at a point where his draft stock is very high, projecting him to be a mid-first round pick and the top linebacker on scouting boards. Furthermore, with several prominent players who figured to be atop the list backing out, Kuechly stands to have a very good showing.
Speaking only for myself, I can’t say he made the right decision, because that’s his call, but he made the smart decision. We could say that it’d be best for him to come back one more year and list reasons why it would be beneficial, but at the end of the day, our reasons would probably be more selfish than anything. He had nothing left to accomplish at the collegiate level. (Before someone says the word “Heisman,” players on bad/mediocre teams, much less defensive players, in lousy major conferences don’t tend to win them.) Kuechly is going out a big winner.
The fact of the matter is that he is in a situation right now where he can be picked on the first night of the draft and make a lot of money. As good of a player as we think he is, there is no guarantee that a year from now he’d be as highly regarded. Any number of things could happen, like injury or a dropoff in his play, that might cause NFL scouts to think less of him.
By declaring now, however, he has eliminated that as a possibility. We BC fans cannot blame him in the slightest: he gave us three tremendous years, will represent himself well at the next level, and only did what he felt was best for his future and financial security. Coming back to college is a great thing in principle, and I can say that I would be torn if it were me, but when it’s between that and living your dream, it’s hard to say no.
I understand that there are probably fans out there who are upset, but don’t be. At the end of the day, he’s not accountable to you or me, and if presented with the chance to make millions and be a star athlete, you might not say no, either. BC football will survive (well, it could use some work, but you know what I mean).
I believe I speak for all BC fans in saying that we wish Kuechly well, we wish him luck, and we look forward to hearing his name called in April.