The first snub is in.
Boston College's Luke Kuechly may finish as the greatest statistical linebacker in the history of Boston College (college football?), but he won't be among the finalists for the 2011 Chuck Bednarik Award, given by the Maxwell Football Club to the national defensive player of the year.
Kuechly is poised to break nearly every tackle record this season, including the NCAA's single-season record for tackles (193, set by Texas Tech's Lawrence Flugence) and the school's career record (525, Stephen Boyd). With 523 total tackles, Kuechly became the ACC's all-time leading career tackler on Saturday against Notre Dame.
Here's how Luke matches up against the three finalists for the Bednarik.
Luke Kuechly: 96 solo tackles, 86 assisted, 182 total, 11.0 TFL, 21 TFL yards, 2 INTs, 2 passes broken up, 2 QB hurries
Alabama's LB Don'ta Hightower: 32 solo, 40 assisted, 72 total, 8.5 TFL, 32 TFL yards, 1 INT, 3 passes broken up, 7 QB hurries
LSU's CB Tyrann Mathieu: 41 solo, 17 assisted, 58 total, 5.5 TFL, 41 TFL yards, 1.5 sacks, 2 INT, 16 yards, 3 fumble returns, 20 yards, 2 TDs, 7 passes broken up, 2 QB hurries, 4 forced fumbles
Penn State's DT Devon Still: 28 solo, 25 assisted, 53 total, 16.5 TFL, 75 TFL yards, 4.0 sacks, 1 pass broken up, 1 forced fumble
The fact that Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower made the cut but Kuechly didn't also doesn't bode well for #40's chances at coming home with the Butkus Award either, awarded to the nation's top linebacker. Last season, Kuechly finished second to Texas A&M's Von Miller in the Butkus Award voting.
Regardless, it's been a pretty incredible season for Luke.