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Luke Kuechly hard at work for NFL Combine

Luke Kuechly during position specific drills with IMG Academy football program

On January 6th, Luke Kuechly announced he would be forgoing his senior season at Boston College and entering the 2012 NFL draft. Since making that decision, Kuechly has been training at IMG Academy under world renowned speed coach Loren Seagrave, former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke in skill specific drills, mental conditioning led by Trevor Moawad and communications training led by former actor Steve Shenbaum. Kuechly is one of 33 NFL draft prospects currently training here at IMG Academy including OL Cordy Glenn and Peter Konz, WR's Mohamed Sanu and Gerell Robinson and QB's Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins.

Kuechly's training here at IMG Academy is focused on the NFL Combine specifically working on maximizing his speed and explosiveness, with drills mimicking the combine tests like the 40 yard dash, shuttle and 225 bench press. The NFL Combine is right around the corner being held in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium February 22nd-28th.

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On Friday, January 6, Luke Kuechly announced from his hometown of Cincinnati that he would forgo his senior year at Boston College and enter the NFL draft.

Three days later, he was in front of a TV in Bradenton, Fla., watching the BCS title game and preparing for seven weeks of training, leading up to the combine in Indianapolis.

Kuechly, considered among the top inside linebacker prospects in the draft and a first-round prospect, called on other Boston College products like Mark Herzlich, Anthony Castonzo, Jamie Silva and Alex Albright when weighing his decision to turn pro.

"Everyone said, 'You've got to do what's right for you,'" Kuechly said. "'You'll know what the right decision is, what makes you happy.'"

And so he decided it was time to take the final steps in pursuing a dream that was rooted in his first days on the football field as a fourth grader.

The process has now moved to IMG Academy in Florida, where Kuechly and 29 other prospects like Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson and Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill spend their days training.

The techniques are different than what Kuechly was used to. At Boston College, training always carried with it a football focus, the idea being preparation leading to results on Saturdays.

But now, the focus is on the combine. Yes, there are football-specific drills. But the combine presents a specific set of predictable tests. With the right preparation, prospects will be ready for exactly what's thrown at them. From an athletic standpoint, that means Kuechly's working on his 40 time, plyometrics, stretching, footwork, making sure he maximizes his explosiveness.

From an off-the-field perspective, it means getting ready for the Wonderlic test and making sure he interviews well with coaches, general managers, scouts and personnel men.

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