The Get with Morgan Fogarty: Luke Kuechly
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In college, Luke Kuechly won the Lombardi Trophy, the Lott Impact Trophy the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. And the Dick Butkus Award. He led the NFL in tackles his rookie year, won the Associated Press 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year and in 2013, became the youngest recipient of the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. He stays out of trouble off the field. He loves his family. He works out diligently and eats healthy.
WCCB Charlotte anchor Morgan Fogarty asked Kuechly, “Is there ever a time where you do something that’s wrong in terms of Luke Kuechly wrong? Do you ever eat a whole bag of potato chips? Are you messy?” Kuechly replied with a laugh, “See, that’s a question you gotta ask my mom. ‘Cause she’s got plenty of ’em for ya. You know, my apartment, when my dad comes, it’s kinda, whatever. My mom comes to the apartment, you gotta make sure it’s clean cause, she doesn’t care, but she’ll try to clean it up and then my dad hears about it. Then he tells me about it. (The) trickle down effect. For me, I gotta make sure everything stays in order so when she gets here, it’s okay.” Fogarty said, “So you have some bad habits. You’re not totally perfect.” Kuechly said, “No, no, no, no. Oh, absolutely.”
Kuechly was ejected from the Green Bay game last month after this contact with an official. The NFL ultimately decided the call was bogus and didn’t fine him. Fogarty jokingly asked, “The Green Bay ejection. I started the #FreeLuke movement as soon as you got ejected from the game. I was at that game. So would you like to thank me now or at the end of this interview for saving you all that money?” Kuechly replied while laughing, “Oh, jeez, all you. Thank you, thank you!” Fogarty continued, “What do you think about that? It was so frustrating as a fan, knowing what sort of person you are on and off the field, and everything else going on in that game, and that happened.” He replied, “Yeah, you know, it’s frustrating. You wanna be in the game, you wanna be with your guys, but stuff happens fast in games and in certain situations you just gotta get out of them and you don’t necessarily know who’s grabbing you, but at the same time you gotta get away and that’s what you gotta do. You gotta walk away.”
Fogarty asked, “What do you think is the biggest misconception about you? If there is one?” Kuechly replied, “The biggest misconception? That I don’t have cable or Internet, that’s the biggest misconception. When I was asked about it, I just moved into my apartment so I didn’t have it, and I wasn’t gonna say I had it when I didn’t, so I had to get settled. We were in camp; I didn’t have time for someone to come in and hook it all up. So, I have cable and Internet, I’m a normal person, I can do all that, that’s the biggest misconception about me, I think.”
Kuechly is taking online courses at Boston College to finish his marketing degree. He says, “You start something, you gotta finish it. And I think that’s something my parents addressed when I was a little kid. You start something, you gotta finish it, and that’s what I have to do. And I’m close. I’ve taken 7 classes since my rookie year and I got one more and I’m done, and I got my degree. I can move on.”
Fogarty asked, “Are you aware that in Charlotte, you’re considered a heartthrob, that there are (a lot of) fathers who would love to have you as their son-in-law?” Kuechly replied with a smile, “Yeah, you know, I’ve been told that a couple times. Um, hopefully people still like me, hopefully I keep playing well and I’m gonna do my best to play well and always be nice to people, and those two go hand in hand with each other, so do my best to be polite and nice to people and hopefully everybody still appreciates me.” Fogarty asked, “Do you get teased in the locker room by the guys who know that you’re the guy all the female fans who come to Panthers games say, ‘There’s Luke Kuechly!'” He said, “It’s a little bit of a joke, here and there, when we walk in from practice, ‘Oh Luke, oh Luke,’ but you know, that’s really the extent.” Fogarty said, “You take it in stride?” He replied, “Of course, of course.”
The fans–all of them–do make an impact on the team and Kuechly. He says, “I think that’s why I love playing at home. It’s cause the fans bring energy. I don’t know if they believe it as much as we say it, but it’s the truth. You’re on the field and they get loud on the third down, it brings energy we feed of that, 100 percent.” He continues, “As crazy as it sounds, we’re still in position to make a run at the playoffs, and I think guys are very bought in to what we’re doing. And we love the support of the fans that we’re getting this year. I think the bye week will be good for us. Give us a chance to mentally get ready to go for the last push. If we take care of these five games, we’re back in the playoffs.”
Kuechly also talked with Fogarty about how he stays humble, the biggest lesson he learned from a college teammate diagnosed with cancer, and what he thinks of the “Nickname Luke” campaign.
This interview first aired November 26th, 2014 on WCCB News @ Ten.