Julius Peppers played in the Super Bowl and the Final Four. He grew up in Bailey North, Carolina, he attended Southern Nash High School and then went on to the University of North Carolina. Peppers at 6-foot-7, 295 pounds was definitely suited for both football and basketball. He was named after Julius Irving (North Carolina Tar Heels Where Have You Gone). For a couple years in college he played both basketball and football hoping to contribute on basketball and staring on the football team. It turned out he was a godsend for Basketball Head Coach Bill Guthridge who had lost several players to injuries. Peppers came off the bench to not just fill-in, but he helped keep the team alive in the playoffs. The Tar Heels played in the 2000 Final Four. Their season ended when they lost, 71-59, to Florida in the NCAA tournament national semifinals.
Peppers played football at North Carolina from 1999-2001. He was a disruptive defensive player, but a quiet man, a first-team All-American in 2001. He won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player along with the Lombardi Award given to the nation’s top college lineman.
Peppers was selected in the first round of the 2002 draft by the Carolina Panthers. He was the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was defensive end for the Panthers from 2002-2009 and then came back to Carolina for his last two season in 2018-2018. He played in Super Bowl XXXVIII, February 1, 2004, for Panthers Head Coach John Fox where the New England Patriots beat the Panthers in a tight game, 32-29. He played for the Bears from 2010-2013, from age 31-33. Peppers had incredible size, speed, and endurance. For the Bears he had 37.5 sacks and 175 tackles. Like some of the best defensive ends, Peppers was frequently double-teamed. His teammates were big fans.
Peppers went on to play outside linebacker for the Packers for 3 seasons before heading back to Carolina.
Overall, Peppers had 159.5 sacks and 719 tackles in 17 seasons. He was an All-Pro for 3 seasons and invited to the Pro Bowl 9 times. Peppers was a force for the Bears and was named one of 100 Greatest Bears of All Time.