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Luke Kuechly in contention for two national awards

11.10.11 at 12:38 pm ET
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Luke Kuechly

Boston College junior linebacker Luke Kuechly was named as a finalist/semifinalist for two separate awards this week.

The 6-foot-3, 237-pound Cincinnati native is one of four finalists for the 42nd Rotary Lombardi Award, honoring the nation’s top lineman or linebacker, according to an announcement by the Rotary Club of Houston on Thursday.

Other finalists for the award include Alabama linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw and Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin.

Kuechly is also one of eight semifinalists for the Eighth Annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, according to an announcement Wednesday by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s defensive player of the year and is the first award to recognize athletic performance and personal character attributes of the player.

Kuechly is one of five linebackers named as a semifinalist. Others include Hightower, Texas’s Emmanuel Acho, Nebraska’s Lavonte David, and Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o. In addition to linebackers, two defensive backs – Oklahoma State’s Brodrick Brown and Virginia’s Chase Minnifeld – and Ohio State defensive lineman John Simon are among the finalists.

Kuechly leads all collegiate players with 80 solo tackles and 150 total tackles through nine games this fall. The junior leads active players with 491 career tackles including 218 solo tackles, and averages 14.0 tackles per game. He has made 10 or more tackles in 32 of 35 career games.

Last season, Kuechly was a unanimous All-America selection as a sophomore and received first-team honors from the Associated Press, the Sporting News, the Walter Camp Foundation, the Football Writers’ Association of America and the American Football Coaches Association.

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