Julius Peppers was born and raised in North Carolina and starred at Southern Nash High School in Bailey before heading to his home state University of North Carolina. While at Southern Nash he rushed for 3,501 yards and 46 touchdowns and was also one of the most feared defensive linemen in the state. He also sprinted on the track team, winning a state championship in the 4x200 meter relay and triple jump. After being named the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Male Athlete of the Year he headed off to UNC and starred on the football and basketball teams. During three seasons on the football field he recorded 30.5 sacks, 53 tackles for a loss and 167 total tackles at the linebacker position. In the 2001 NCAA Tournament he scored 21 points and added 10 rebounds in the second round, but ultimately decided to pursue a career in football. Upon being selected in the first round with the No. 2 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft he began what would become a legendary pro career. During his first NFL season he earned AP and PFWA NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, and went on to earn nine trips to the Pro Bowl, six NFL All-Pro selections, the 2004 NFL Alumni Defensive Lineman of the Year Award, 2004 NFC Defensive Player of the Year Award, and a spot on the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team. He recorded 715 tackles, 159.5 sacks, 11 interceptions and 51 forced fumbles. He currently holds Panthers career records in sacks with 81 and forced fumbles with 30. Peppers played the first seven seasons of his career with Carolina, then three seasons in Chicago with the Bears and three more with the Green Bay Packers before spending the final two years of his career back with the Panthers-.
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