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Luke Kuechly drafted by Panthers

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  April 26, 2012 08:55 PM

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Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, a two-time All American, was drafted in the first round of the National Football League draft by the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.

The Panthers used the ninth pick in the draft to select Kuechly.

Kuechly, a 6-foot-3-inch, 242 linebacker, who watched the draft unfold from his home in Cincinnati, was the seventh Boston College player selected in the first round in the last 12 years and the fifth Eagle chosen in the first round in the the last seven years.

Kuechly, who led the country in tackles the past two seasons and was chosen as the Butkus Award winner as the best linebacker in college football, passed up his final season at BC and has spent the past four months preparing for the draft, hoping he would elevate his status.

After Kuechly left BC in January, he spent six weeks at the IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton, Fla., preparing for the NFL combine in February. He also had private workouts with several teams and was projected as a high to middle first round draft pick with Kansas City, Buffalo, Carolina, Philadelphia and Seattle expressing the most interest.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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