Boston College has announced it will retire the jerseys of quarterback Matt Ryan and linebacker Luke Kuechly in separate ceremonies during the upcoming season. Kuechly's jersey will be retired at the Eagles' Oct. 22 game vs. Syracuse while Ryan will be honored at the Nov. 19 game vs. Connecticut.
"On behalf of Boston College and Eagles fans everywhere, I would like to congratulate Luke and Matt on this well-deserved honor," Director of Athletics Brad Bates said. "Matt and Luke represent the very best of intercollegiate athletics and personify the Jesuit principle of 'men and women for others.' Both enjoyed brilliant collegiate careers and have gone on to enjoy success in the NFL. Beyond the gridiron you would be hard-pressed to find two gentlemen who conduct themselves with more integrity, discipline, generosity and kindness. They make all of us very proud."Kuechly became the most decorated defensive player in BC football history after sweeping every major postseason award in 2012, including the Dick Butkus Award, the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Bronko Nagurski Award and the Rotary Lombardi Award.
The two-time consensus first-team All-American finished his three-year collegiate career led the nation for two consecutive seasons in total tackles, tackles per game, solo tackles and solo tackles per game. He finished his collegiate career with a school-record 532 tackles and ranks among the NCAA career leaders in several defensive statistical categories.
He recorded at least 10 tackles in 34 of 38 games, including a streak of 33 straight games between 2009-11. He was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the first round (ninth overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft and has continued to rack up honors as a professional. In his first season, he was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and one season later, he was selected for the Pro Bowl and AP overall Defensive Player of the Year. He has registered more than 100 tackles in each of his four seasons in the NFL and has led the league in tackles twice. In Carolina's 2015 Super Bowl run, he became the first linebacker in the Super Bowl era with multiple interception return touchdowns in a single postseason.
"It's a tremendous honor to have my jersey retired," Kuechly said. "It is very important to me because of the love I have for Boston College and the memories I created not only on the field but throughout all of campus. It's an honor to have my name in Alumni Stadium along with Doug Flutie, Mike Ruth and the other great players who have been recognized. I truly enjoyed my time at Boston College and would definitely choose BC if I had to do it again."
"(Luke Kuechly) is as good as it gets. I hate playing against him." -Ryan— BC Football (@BCFootball) July 6, 2016
Ryan, nicknamed "Matty Ice," capped an illustrious Boston College career by being selected third overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL draft, becoming BC's highest draft pick ever in any sport. During his standout senior season in 2007, he led the team to an 8-0 start and No. 2 national ranking en route to an 11-3 record (best since 1940), the ACC Atlantic Division championship and the school's first-ever appearance in the ACC Championship game.
He was the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (given to the nation's top senior quarterback), the Manning Award (given to the nation's top quarterback), was ACC Player of the Year and finished seventh in Heisman Trophy balloting. He set the BC school record for single-season passing yards and when he completed 388-of- 654 passes for 4,507 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2007.
In eight seasons in the NFL, he has completed 2,915 of 4,530 passes (64.3 percent) for 32,757 yards and 202 touchdowns while posting a 90.9 passer rating. He owns franchise records for career passing yards (28,166), career pass attempts (3,916), career completions (2,508), career touchdowns (181), career passing rating (91.1), career completion percentage (64.0) and career 300-yard games (30).
"Boston College is an amazing place," Ryan said. "I am very fortunate to have had so many great memories during my college years at BC. I continue to be so fortunate with the retirement of my jersey and I am humbled that it will hang in Alumni Stadium with BC legends Doug Flutie, Mike Ruth and now Luke Kuechly. I'm so thankful for the guidance of all my coaches and the support of all my teammates during my time on campus. Football is the ultimate team sport and without their contributions none of this would have been possible."
Previously, Boston College has retired the numbers of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Doug Flutie and Outland Trophy winner Mike Ruth and the jerseys of eight other standouts: Art Donovan, Bill Flynn, Gene Goodreault, Mike Holovak, Lou Montgomery, Charles O'Rourke, Tony Thurman and Louis Urban.