Panthers great Luke Kuechly gushes over 2024 draft prospect

Someone is going to have to check on Payton Wilson today.

Carolina Panthers legend Luke Kuechly joined Wednesday’s special episode of Up & Adams, hosted by Kay Adams from Bank of America Stadium. When asked if he has any draft advice for his team this spring, the former Defensive Player of the Year and five-team first-team All-Pro singled out one prospect in particular.

“At the draft, I always look at linebackers,” Kuechly told Adams. “And there’s a guy that I loved watching for a long time up at NC State—Payton Wilson. He ran extremely well, he was in 4.4s, and he’s been super productive and he plays really hard.”

Well, that’s awfully appropriate considering who Wilson admires most. (Yep, it’s Luke.)

During his media availability at the scouting combine this past week, Wilson spoke about how Kuechly inspires his game.

“The way that he played the game, I mean obviously outside of his football IQ, knowing literally every play that was coming, playing with his hair on fire, trying to take people’s heads off — it was something that I just wanted to do,” Wilson said. “I’ve actually been in contact with him. And the person he is outside of the game never changed. Everything goes to the Lord for him. So on and off the field, I’m just trying to model my game after him.”

Like Kuechly did, Wilson heads into the pros as the reigning Butkus Award winner and ACC Defensive Player of the Year. The Hillsborough, N.C. native is also flying in with an impressive 40-yard dash time of 4.44 seconds, a tick faster than Kuechly’s 4.58 back in 2012.

So far, so good, kid.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire