Luke Combs Tells Luke Kuechly How Pissed He Was When The Panthers First Drafted Him

Luke Kuechly, Luke Combs taking a selfie

Two of my favorite Lukes in one place.

North Carolina native Luke Combs, and Carolina Panthers great Luke Kuechly, recently joined sportscaster Lindsay Czarniak on her podcast The Artist and The Athlete to talk about a multitude of subjects.

They covered their shared love of the outdoors, similarities in their respective careers, and some of Luke Combs’ strongest opinions when it comes to Panthers football. He remarked that he has quite a few of them, because it’s the only team he feels really qualified to speak about.

To that end, he told the hilarious story of his true reaction when the Panthers drafted Luke Kuechly back in 2012:

“Man, to be brutally honest with you, I was like ‘who in the HELL is this guy? You’ve got to be kidding me… Linebacker? What a joke, at least get a lineman at least that helps the offense out a little bit, you know?” 

It’s pretty comical, and almost hard to believe he thought that looking back now. Kuechly obviously had an incredible career as one of the best linebackers of all-time (and if you disagree, you’re wrong). To be fair though, he’s completely right that the Panthers have been in desperate need of a decent offensive lineman for at least decade or more.

Combs however, saw the error of his opinion pretty quickly.

“But, honestly I think it goes down as the greatest draft pick in Panthers history. I’m a true fan. Like, weird Panthers fan guy. I’m a superfan… that’s the one team that I’m way too overly invested in, for sure, and I’m very opinionated on.

It’s the only team I feel like I truly have opinions of what they should be doing.”

Later in the podcast, Combs ribbed Kuechly on a story he heard from his friend, Tennessee Titans center Ben Jones, a few years ago. As the story goes, the Panthers had traveled to Nashville to do a couple of joint practices, and Jones was going to join former Panthers linebacker (and fellow Georgia alum) Thomas Davis for lunch after a morning practice.

According to Combs, Jones told him he insisted they invite Kuechly to join them for lunch, to which Davis replied:

“Ah, he’s not going to lunch.”

Which of course left Jones confused, wondering what that meant and why he wouldn’t want to come. Davis told him:

“He’s gonna watch film. That’s what he’s gonna do.”

Kuechly laughing had a hilarious response to Combs:

“He’s making me sound like a loser, Lindsay. He doesn’t want to hang out with anybody, he just wants to go sit alone in a dark room and be a loser!”

Combs went on to liken Kuechly to another “mysterious figure” in that of Eric Church. He noted the similarities between the two in their lack of social media presence and how neither of them seem to feel the need to put everything about their lives out in the public eye.

It’s a great conversation and the two really bounce off each other well. There’s obviously a lot of mutual respect between the two of them and it’s cool to see two people who’ve both accomplished so much in their respective careers talk about everything that goes into achieving such high levels of success. The similarities between success in football and success music might not be all that obvious to people.

You’d never be able to guess they have never met in person because of their natural rapport, but I think that’s probably long overdue. Kuechly had one more piece of advice for Combs at the end, suggesting one of his own ideas for a country song.

“Just write a couple number ones and you just get a sick truck and a whole bunch of beer. You need to write a song on that. Hunting and all your sick stuff that you have.”

Combs jokingly assures him,

“I wish that was far off, man, but it’s really not far off.”

Seems like we might need to get a Kuechly a Combs CD…

A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock