Luke August Kuechly (//; born April 20, 1991) is an American football middle linebacker for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Panthers ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football at Boston College, and was recognized twice as a consensus All-American. Kuechly had an immediate impact his rookie season, as he led the NFL in tackles and won the Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, becoming the third youngest recipient of this award in NFL history. In 2013, Kuechly became the youngest recipient of the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in NFL history.