BOSTON (CBS) — Coming off an offensively starved 3-9 season that saw them go 0-8 within the ACC, there’s no doubt that the Boston College Eagles have hit a bit of a rut. But in 2016, the program is calling upon two of its most successful alums to bring some good fortune back to the Heights.
Boston College announced Tuesday that the school will be retiring the jerseys of quarterback Matt Ryan and linebacker Luke Kuechly during the 2016 season.
Ryan will be honored at the Nov. 19 game vs. UConn, while Kuechly’s jersey will be retired on Oct. 22 at the Syracuse game.
Both games coincide with each player’s NFL bye week this upcoming season.
“Matt and Luke represent the very best of intercollegiate athletics and personify the Jesuit principle of ‘men and women for others,’” athletic director Brad Bates said in a statement. “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.”
Ryan, who earned the nickname “Matty Ice” during his time at B.C., remains the highest draft pick in school history at No. 3 overall. He led the Eagles to the No. 2 ranking during the 2007 season, winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Manning Award, and ACC Player of the Year award. That year, he threw for 4,507 yards, 31 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
“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,” Ryan said.
Kuechly, now a three-time All-Pro and one-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, twice led the nation in tackles while at B.C. He finished his college career with 532 tackles, recording at least 10 tackles in 34 of his 38 games played, including 33 straight. He earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in his first NFL season and made the Pro Bowl in his second season, when he earned the title of NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
“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.”
Currently, Alumni Stadium has retired the numbers of Doug Flutie and Mike Ruth, while retiring the jerseys of Art Donovan, Bill Flynn, Gene Goodreault, Mike Holovak, Lou Montgomery, Charles O’Rourke, Tony Thurman and Louis Urban.