Luke Kuechly's performance on the defensive side of the ball has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season for the Eagles. So it's only fitting that Kuechly was named the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year for 2011 by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
The All-American junior linebacker from Cincinnati earned 30 of a possible 45 votes, leaving us with only this question: what were the 15 other members of the ACSMA watching this season?
N.C. State cornerback David Amerson, who leads the nation in interceptions with 11, received 14 votes and Duke safety Matt Daniels had the other vote.
Kuechly's list of accomplishments this season include, but are not limited to:
-- Averaging 15.92 tackles per game, which is almost certain to set an NCAA single-season record (unless Utah State's Bobby Wagner records 73 tackles in USU's final two games of the year)
-- Recorded a total of 191 tackles fell two short of the NCAA mark
-- Has 532 career tackles in only three seasons, the second-highest total by an FBS player since the NCAA began compiling individual tackling statistics in 2000 ... again, in only three seasons.
-- Likely to set the NCAA's career tackles per game mark with 14.0 tackles / game (which will be certified by the NCAA after Kuechly's collegiate career is over.
Hopefully the first of many postseason accolades to come for #40.