A North Carolina football great may soon be honored for his achievements, now that his storied career has wound to a close.
In 2020, Julius Peppers, arguably the best defensive end to ever suit up for UNC, will appear for the first time on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.
College Football Hall of Fame rules specify that players become eligible to appear on the ballot once their college career has been over for ten or more years and they are no longer playing at the professional level. Peppers left UNC in 2002 and announced his retirement from the NFL in February after a 17-year career, so 2020 marks his first year of eligibility.
Peppers amassed spectacular numbers at UNC between 1998 and 2001, accumulating 30.5 sacks (the second-most in school history), 167 tackles, five interceptions, five forced fumbles and three defensive touchdowns. In 2000, he also came one sack shy of tying Lawrence Taylor’s single season school record of 16.0.
In 2001, Peppers won the Lombardi Award for the best lineman in college football, the Chuck Bednarik Award for the best defensive player and was a first-team all-American selection.