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Nov. 30, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP, ACSMA) - Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, whose continuous pursuit of ball-carriers has made him one of the most prolific tacklers in ACC and NCAA history, is the Defensive Player of the Year in the conference for 2011 in balloting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Kuechly, a junior from Cincinnati, was named on 30 of 45 ballots. NC State cornerback David Amerson, the nation's leader in interceptions with 11, placed second with 14 and Duke safety Matt Daniels had the other vote.
Kuechly averaged 15.92 tackles per game for Boston College, which won three of its final five games to finish at 4-8. The figure is almost certain to set an NCAA single-season record. In order to catch Kuechly, his nearest competitor, Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner, will need to make 73 stops over his final two contests. Kuechly's total of 191 tackles fell two short of the NCAA mark, and his career achievements are equally compelling. In only three seasons, he has been credited with 532 stops; that's the second-highest total by an FBS player since the NCAA began compiling individual tackling statistics in 2000.
He has done that in only three seasons and has another year of eligibility remaining.
Another pending record is career tackles per game, which the NCAA does not certify until a player's college career ends. Kuechly is averaging 14 stops a contest over his three seasons; that's 13 percent better than the NCAA record of 12.2, set by Maryland's E.J. Henderson from 2000-02. In order to eclipse Major League Baseball's career home run record by 13 percent, a batter would need 861 round-trippers -- nearly 100 more than the current mark.
Kuechly punctuated his 2011 season with a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown at Miami in which he stiff-armed a defender for the final 15 yards last Friday.
Voting for the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Rookie of the Year award, as voted on by 45 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
ACC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College (30)
David Amerson, CB, NC State (14)
Matt Daniels, S, Duke (1)