GCL to NFL Jack Marcheschi’12 Sitting in the green room of Radio City Music Hall on April, 26 th , there was a line backer from Boston College. This specific linebacker was second in NCAA football history in total tackles, even though he left early after his junior year. This 21 year old kid was proclaimed as one of the best defensive players in the draft, and expected to go in the top ten selections of the first round. Finally, his name was called by the Carolina Panthers. Ironically, “The Panthers” was the name of his archrival team in high school. His name is Luke Kuechly, a local kid from St.Xavier high school here in Cincinnati. Many people were excited to see Luke get drafted, and I was one of them. Seeing a guy from St.X being drafted in the top ten selections is pretty cool. It’s a true testament to the competitiveness of the GCL conference knowing that almost every year there is a young man from the league Elder plays football in going on to the NFL, let alone being selected in first round. I decided to get a couple of reactions from some past football players who played against Mr.Kuechly on Friday nights over the past couple of years to see what they thought about his drafting and experiences playing against him. One of the past players I interviewed was Elder Football standout Quarterback, Mark Miller. Mark played against St.X with Luke Kuechly on the team during his junior year, and, of course, the Panthers prevailed 33-15. When I asked Mark about how he dealt with Luke’s defensive prowess, he responded with this: “Well, he played the ‘rover’ position instead of linebacker, so he wasn’t playing at the position he excelled at in college. Either way, he made a couple of plays during the game, but they were just tackles here and there. Luckily, our coaches did a great job of scheming around him.” Additionally, I asked Mark about if the coaches thought he had as high of a ceiling that he ended up having. In other words, did you think his potential was high enough to play in the NFL? Mark replied, “There was no questioning he was an ultra-talented player at X, everyone knew it. He disrupted the offense in so many ways for the entire season all over the GCL, the talent was there. I’m not a college coach, but all of the ones evaluating him had to know he had potential to be great.” Well said, Mark. Well said. All in all, Luke Kuechly had an incredible career at Boston College. He finished second all time in NCAA Division 1 history behind Marcus McGraw. Even though Marcus played in 42 games—a full 13 more than Luke—he only has a nine tackle lead on him. Luke average 19.33 tackles per-game at one point this season, so it’s safe to say if he didn’t pass up the millions of dollars and a top ten selection in the draft, he would have broken the record in one half of a game. His tackling prowess is unmatched, and hopefully this local superstar can keep his trademark ability up in his years of professional football. I know I’m not stretching the truth when I say that everyone here at Elder wishes him the best of luck in the coming years.