Maisel: Kuechly's dressing up his game

ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel writes today on linebacker Luke Kuechly. Maisel writes:

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- There's a picture of linebacker Luke Kuechly on the table of contents of the 2010 Boston College media guide. He is in uniform. His hands are above his head, elbows bent at 90-degree angles. His upper arms are streamlined, bulgeless. It is a picture of Kuechly as a 220-pound freshman linebacker in 2009.

"He truly looked like Clark Kent when he first came here," defensive coordinator Billy McGovern said.

All he did that season was set an NCAA freshman record with 158 tackles. As a sophomore in 2010, Kuechly led the nation with 183 stops, 20 more than any other FBS player. He made every All-American team except for Dick Vitale's.

[+] EnlargeMark Tureski/Icon SMI

Luke Kuechly led the nation with 183 tackles in 2010.

Fast forward to three days ago. Kuechly stood coiled in the middle of the Boston College defense at practice, gloved hands resting lightly on knees. His torso and upper legs formed a less-than sign as he scanned the Eagles offense before him. At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, he is undersized no more.

"He has the half where he looks like an All-American in a uniform," Boston College coach Frank Spaziani said, a sly smile playing across his face. The other half, in which Kuechly plays like an All-American, has been there pretty much from the day he set foot on campus.

Spaziani wonders aloud whether Kuechly is from Cincinnati, which is where Boston College found him, or Krypton. After I spoke with Kuechly on Tuesday, Spaziani's first question to me was, "Find a flaw?"

Well, let's see. The best linebacker in the nation puts in the time to be the backup long snapper. He gets his defensive teammates together to watch video. When he met with McGovern after the season, Kuechly told him he wanted to learn what every player on the defense is supposed to do in every scheme. "I want to know what you know," Kuechly said.

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