Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly will donate a $1,000 equipment grant to his alma maters through USA Football, the official youth football development partner of the Panthers and the NFL.
Carolina center Ryan Kalil is presenting his grant to Servite High School in Anaheim, Calif., while Kuechly’s is to St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.
Kuechly, the NFL’s 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The Panthers recently announced they will pick up the fifth-year option on Kuechly.
Kalil and Kuechly were named to USA Football’s 2014 All-Fundamentals Team in December, honoring 26 NFL players – 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams – who employ proper techniques, particularly when blocking and tackling, that fosters inherent safety benefits and better on-field performance. As All-Fundamentals Team players, they received equipment grants from USA Football to donate to the youth or high school programs of their choice.
USA Football, the sport’s national governing body, trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the U.S. More than 5,500 youth leagues and 750 high schools participated in USA Football’s Heads Up Football program in 2014, benefiting nearly 1 million young athletes.
Kuechly, a 2009 St. Xavier graduate, was a two-time All-Greater Catholic League selection with the Bombers. He gained first-team honors in 2008. He led the Bombers in tackles as a junior and senior; he made 147 tackles in 2007 and 130 stops in 2008.
Kuechly was a standout at Boston College. He was named the NFL’s 2013