Luke Kuechly has said that he was surprised to be named the NFL's defensive player of the year at last night's annual honours ceremony.
The Carolina Panthers linebacker, who picked up the defensive rookie of the year award last season, made 156 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions during his second season in the league.
"I had no idea. You look at the list of guys, [St Louis Rams defensive end] Robert Mathis, a sack master, a guy that forced a lot of fumbles. And obviously, everybody knows about [Seattle Seahawks'] Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. Those guys are both studs," ESPN quotes the 22-year-old as saying.
Only the Seahawks, who will compete in today's Super Bowl, allowed fewer points than the Panthers during the 2013 regular season.