The National Football foundation announced its 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class on Thursday, and Tar Heels fans saw a familiar face on the list: Dre Bly. Bly played at Carolina from 1996 to 1998, earning first team All-American honors in all of his three seasons in Chapel Hill.
His freshman year at Carolina, Bly led the nation with 11 interceptions and recieved all-American honors. He continued his strong play throughout his time at UNC, setting the ACC career interceptions record at 20. That mark was later broken by Wake Forest standout Alphonso Smith (21). Bly was also a major contributor on the Tar Heel teams in 1996 and 1997 that finished in the top 10 in back to back season.
Bly was deeply honored in a statement released by UNC. Bly said,
This is a tremendous honor and I’m thrilled to represent the University of North Carolina in the College Football Hall of Fame. It’s a dream come true that hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was fortunate to play with a great group of guys in Chapel Hill who pushed me every day to become a better player. We had one of the best defenses in the country with future NFL players all over the field. I wouldn’t be accepting this honor without them and the great coaching staff under the leadership of Mack Brown.
Dre Bly also had a productive career in the NFL following his time in Chapel Hill, playing for the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.