Two of the most heralded players in Boston College history are set to receive a well-deserved honor.
Tuesday, BC athletic director Brad Bates revealed in an emailed release that the university will be retiring the jersey numbers of linebacker Luke Kuechly and quarterback Matt Ryan. The latter is the highest draft pick of any BC player in any sport while the former served as an inspiration in defeating cancer.
Kuechly’s jersey No. 40 will be retired during the October 22 game against Syracuse, while Ryan’s No. 12 will be so honored for the UConn game on November 19.
“On behalf of Boston College and Eagles fans everywhere, I would like to congratulate Luke and Matt on this well-deserved honor,” Bates said in a statement. “Matt and Luke represent the very best of intercollegiate athletics and personify the Jesuit principle of ‘men and women for others.’ 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.”
At one point during the 2007 season, Ryan and the Eagles were ranked No. 2 in the country, ultimately leading the program to its first-ever ACC championship game appearance. He still holds numerous school passing standards.
“It’s a tremendous honor to have my jersey retired,” Kuechly said in a statement. “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. I truly enjoyed my time at Boston College and would definitely choose BC if I had to do it again.”
“Boston College is an amazing place,” Ryan said in his statement. “I am very fortunate to have had so many great memories during my college years at BC. 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. I’m so thankful for the guidance of all my coaches and the support of all my teammates during my time on campus. Football is the ultimate team sport and without their contributions none of this would have been possible.”
Eight former Eagles have previously been honored with a jersey retirement, including Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie.