Carolina Panthers rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly had 25 tackles through his first four games. Then something clicked.
In the six games since then, the ninth overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Boston College has a ridiculous 72 tackles. His 97 tackles for the season rank third in the NFL and make Kuechly the favorite to be named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Kuechly, who played high school football in Cincinnati, Is starting to feel at home in Charlotte, both on and off the field. Rather than hitting the proverbial rookie wall, he’s seemingly gotten stronger throughout his first NFL season, thanks to his tireless dedication in the weight room and a focus on nutrition.
Mental health is important to Kuechly, as well, and he recognizes the importance of recovery during the course of a season when every week presents another challenge. To help unwind and clear his mind on an off day earlier this year, Kuechly went fishing on Charlotte’s Lake Norman.
“You try to catch at least one fish,” said Kuechly, who fished with his dad and brothers as a kid. “If you can’t catch one, you get beat by the fish.”
Naturally, Kuechly caught a few fish that day. He doesn’t get beat very often, as his opponents can attest.
For more on Kuechly’s journey during his rookie season, visit www.nfl.com/etp.