UNC Football: Julius Peppers A Finalist For Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former UNC Football program defensive star Julius Peppers has been named as a finalist for the Pro Football Class of 2024 Hall of Fame.

Julius Peppers #49
Julius Peppers #49 / Craig Jones/GettyImages

Former UNC Football program legend defensive end Julius Peppers was announced on Wednesday night as one of fifteen players named as a finalist for the Class of 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame. Peppers is in the first year of his eligibility for the Hall of Fame after spending his NFL career with three teams, a majority of which were spent in his home state with the Carolina Panthers.

Peppers was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and was a staple of the Panthers defense from 2002 until 2009. He then spent four seasons in Chicago and three seasons in Green Bay before returning home to retire as a Panther in his final two seasons of his career in 2017 and 2018.

Peppers had an outstanding career with accolades and impressive stats a mile long, including being fourth on the all-time sack list with 159.5 sacks. He was NFL Rookie of the Year in 2002, a nine-time pro bowler, four time first-team All-Pro and three time second-team All-Pro. He was also named to the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2000s and 2010s.

There are only two players who made the finalist list for the Class of 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame who are in their first-year of eligibility, Peppers and tight end Antonio Gates. Peppers made the cut of semifinalist from 25 down to 15 and will now await the next cut to see who will be voted into the Hall of Fame.

Of the 15 players eligible, only five will be inducted with the Class of 2024. The voting will take place in January and the inductees will be announced during the week of the Super Bowl at the NFL Honors Show. If Peppers makes the final cut, he will become the third UNC Football player to ever be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining Chris Hanburger and Lawrence Taylor.

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