Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is the kind of impact player that NFL teams envision when they select a player in the top ten of the NFL Draft. Selected ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year that season and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.
What can he do for an encore in year three? Kuechly’s eyes are set on the Super Bowl. Kuechly’s old-school physical style and “Smelf-confidence” lends itself perfectly to a partnership with old-school icon Old Spice.
At every level you’ve played, you’ve been a tackling machine. How do you account for this? What do you do differently than other players?
“I’ve always had a great group of guys around me. At Boston College, Bill McGovern (former DC) did a great job and he is the reason why I developed in college. And when I got to Carolina, I had some older guys around like Jon Beason [and] Thomas Davis that taught me a lot, and I learned what it takes to be successful. So I owe a lot to those guys for the success I’m having today.”
Who was your favorite player growing up?
“Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher. Those guys played hard and played a long time at a very high level.”
How do you feel about the Urlacher comparisons?
“I think you’ve got to look at how long Brian played, how high a level, the Pro Bowls, he’s been to a Super Bowl; I think that’s the most important thing. I’ve played two years and that’s it. It’s cool to look at it now, but I have to keep looking forward, keep working.”
Who would win an arm wrestling contest between you and Urlacher?
“Oh, man I’m sure he would. He is a big dude. “
Talk about the partnership with Old Spice.
“I partnered up with them to talk about the hair product that came out earlier this year. There’s shampoos, conditioners, different gels. The biggest thing behind them is the simplicity to use the product. You can use it real quick and don’t have to take a whole lot of time. We use it quite a bit in the locker room. I passed it out to some of the linebackers and everybody is loving it right now.”