Brian: Last season, we saw Rich Gunnell break Pete Mitchell’s all-time Eagles receiving yards record in the Emerald Bowl. Gunnell’s monster, 6 catch, 130 yard, 1 TD performance against USC gave him 2,459 total yards receiving in his career, breaking a record that had stood for 16 years. Over the next few years, we could witness several more BC records falling.
On offense, Montel Harris is on track to break all sorts of team rushing records. Halfway through his career, Harris in on pace to rush for 4,714 yards in his career, which would shatter Derrick Knight’s career mark of 3,725 yards. Already with 19 rushing touchdowns through two full seasons, Harris is on pace to break Keith Barnette’s career rushing touchdown record (34). Barnette’s record has stood for 35 years, and has withstood assaults from such great Eagles backs as Willy Green (33), Derrick Knight (25) and Mike Cloud (25).
Harris already owns several Eagle rushing records, including the freshman and sophomore records for most attempts and yards, and the single-game rushing touchdowns record with his 5 TD performance over N.C. State last season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kuechly could parlay his phenomenal freshman campaign into a complete rewrite of the Eagles’ defensive record book.
While Luke Kuechly isn’t likely to keep up his 156 tackle per year pace, even with a bit of a drop-off, he could easily break Steven Boyd’s record for career tackles. Boyd’s record stands at 524. Even though it’s only based on one season’s worth of results, Kuechly is currently on pace to shatter Boyd’s record by 100 tackles. The only question is whether Kuechly will stay all four years or decide to test the NFL Draft waters after the 2011 season.
Not to mention Kuechly could easily break Tom McManus’ single-season tackle record (165) or even Frank Chamberlain’s since game tackle record (25 in a game back in 1999 against Syracuse).
So when it’s all said and done, who has a better shot at breaking their respective all-time Eagles records - Harris (all-time rushing yards and/or TDs) or Kuechly (career tackles)?
Jeff: Saying that Kuechly isn't likely to keep tackling at the pace he did last year is right on the mark. First of all, as a fan, we hope he doesn't. The offense needs to go 3-and-out a lot to give Kuechly the opportunities to get all of those tackles like he had last season. Also, close games make starters have to play longer than if we can put away some lesser opponents early on and get Kuechly and other starters on the bench.
The interesting thing about both players, even though both have had incredible freshman seasons on a successful team in a major conference and Harris has now done it for two years, I don't see either leaving after just three seasons. Neither one gets mentioned as being a great pro prospect because of their size.
Assuming both stay around for four year they will probably both set records, but after Kuechly settles down and has closer to 100 tackles this season, I think it will be easy to say that he is less likely to be a record setter than Montel Harris.