Cincinnati native and Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has been named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by Pro Football Weekly and the Pro Football Writer’s Association.
Kuechly, 21, is a 2009 graduate of St. Xavier High School.
Though tackles are an unofficial stat, Kuechly’s 165 tackles were the most in the league by a large margin. He also had two interceptions.
He was December’s NFL Rookie of the Month after posting 59 tackles in five games as the Panthers went 4-1 in the season’s final month. Kuechly really took off after moving from outside to inside linebacker after the season’s first month.
Kuechly was the ninth overall selection of last year’s draft after playing three seasons at Boston College, where he set the school and ACC record for tackles.
Also making the PFW/PFWA all-rookie team were Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler, Browns offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, and Browns safety Johnson Bademosi, who made the list as a special teams player and was the only undrafted player to earn all-rookie honors.