Jackson Griffin had to adjust on the fly. The 9-year-old Charlotte boy had a plan to get Luke Kuechly's attention, but the linebacker's reaction took him off guard.
As part of a Scouts project, Jackson made a Pinewood Derby car. He painted it with Kueckly's No. 59. When Kuechly signed autographs for fans last week, Jackson offered the car up to Kuechly as a gift.
Kuechly recognized the item as a Pinewood Derby car and accepted it under one condition. Jackson had to sign the car.
Got to love how Carolina Panthers player #59 handled 9-year-old Jackson from Mountain Island Lake. It's perfection.Jackson was there after practice last week with his mom and three older sisters. His mom taped him trying to give "LUUUUUKE" a gift, then sent the video to WBTV's Delano Little, who sent it to the newsroom. I think we should call it "Example of How Big NFL Stars Should Treat Little Fans." Enjoy.(And Jackson - hold on to those gloves!)
Posted by WBTV's Molly Grantham on Monday, January 18, 2016
Kuechly told Jackson he would hang the car on his locker. He also returned the favor by gifting Jackson his practice gloves.
Kuechly led the Panthers with 11 total tackles Sunday, and returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown. Carolina defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 31-24, to move on to the NFC Championship Game.
Jackson's mother, who took the video, told WCNC that Luke, Cam Newton and the Panthers "seem to understand the special bond they have with their youngest fans."
Take that, Nashville Mom.
Jackson believes his car is now a good luck charm for Kuechly.
Earlier this season, Kuechly worked with the "Dream on 3" organization and accompanied Jessica Hayes, who suffers from autism cerebral palsy and partial blindness, to her 21st birthday party.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.