Friends and Former Teammates React to Kuechly Retirement News

CHARLOTTE, NC – People continue to react to the surprise retirement announcement by Carolina Panthers Captain Luke Kuechly.

The 28-year-old had enough saying in his video, ” Now is the right chance to move on.”

Drafted in 2012, the shaggy haired kid from Boston College came in with high expectations and a work ethic to match.

“You got to come in,” said Kuechly during his initial press conference, “you got to work. You got to take coaching.”

He racked up Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was also selected to seven Pro Bowls.

His impact felt beyond the field as well.

“I think he set an amazing example for a lot of young people to follow,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt Jr. reacted to the news on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be positive and successful and I’d imagine for the type of person he is,” said Earnhardt Jr.

Luke also spends time giving back. He’s served hot meals to people during the holidays. He’s taught kids how to play the game he loves. He’s handed out backpacks to children.

And recently he’s helped teammate Greg Olsen with his golf game as his caddie during the Wells Fargo Championship Pro-Am.

Former teammate Jonathan Stewart Admiring Luke’s determination on the QCB Radio Show Wednesday afternoon.

“He works at everything. His preparation for the games, I mean the hours of film that goes into it for him, I’ve never seen it,” said Stewart.

Stewart says coaching may be in the linebacker’s not so distant future.

“If he wants to jump into it, panthers need to be right there at his door,” said Stewart.

Kuechly suffered three concussions during his career with the Panthers that we’re aware of. He reportedly played through several injuries this past season.