RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Former Carolina Panthers defensive end and University of North Carolina football standout Julius Peppers was among the list of nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday.
The three-time All-Pro selection was nominated along with 172 other players for the upcoming class, including 10 former Panthers. This marks the first year of eligibility for Peppers, who retired following the 2018 season.
Retiring as a nine-time Pro Bowler as well as a three-time All-Pro selection, Peppers ended his storied career with 159.5 sacks, which ranks fourth all-time. He currently stands as the only player ever with at least 150 sacks and 10 interceptions.
In addition, Peppers also racked up the second-most forced fumbles and the third-most tackles for loss in NFL history. Other notable accomplishments included winning Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2002.
Before suiting up for the Panthers, the Wilson native was a two-sport star for the Tar Heels, playing both football and basketball. He’s the only athlete to have played in both the NCAA Final Four and the Super Bowl.
On the gridiron, Peppers is second all-time in UNC history with 30.5 sacks. During his time in Chapel Hill, he won the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Bill Willis Trophy and the Lombardi Award before eventually becoming the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Earlier this year, Peppers was chosen to join the Panthers Hall of Honor. He will be inducted at the Panthers’ home matchup with the Houston Texans on Oct. 29.