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Prospect Profile

Julius Peppers
Position: Defensive End
College: North Carolina
Height: 6-6
Weight: 283
Hometown: Bailey, N.C.

Career Notes | Agility | High School | Personal | Stats

ANALYSIS

Positives: Muscular athlete with a thick frame and well-defined upper torso … High-energy athlete who is very quick off the snap, easily slipping by blockers on stunts … Shows good arm power as he consistently outmuscles blockers in one-on-one situations … Very effective knifing through traffic, feeling pressure to react well while shedding blocks downfield … Chases hard to the opposite side of the field, determined to punish ball carriers with his forceful tackles … Shows a sharp short-area burst and is very comfortable making plays on the move … Displays the foot speed to get into the gaps, using his explosion to quickly flush the quarterback out of the pocket … Could shift inside to tackle at the pro level to take advantage of his agility and balance and punishing wrap-up tackling ability, but his quickness may be best served coming off the edge at end, especially in a 3-4 defensive alignment.

Negatives: Gets too upright at times, leading to misdirection as he tries to move through the pile … More of a straight-line charger, lacking the power to redirect inside, where he would be bounced around due to multiple blocks … Struggles to keep balance when sliding outside to contain the run … Poor hand usage will frequently see him get locked up by the blockers, as he allows them to get their hands into his chest.

CAREER NOTES

Phenomenal two-sport standout at Carolina who elected to return to campus for another football season in 2001 … Named the nation's top two-sport athlete by The Sporting News, which states that he could be an early professional draft pick in either the NFL or NBA … Regarded as the most dominating defensive player to perform for the Tar Heels since the Lawrence Taylor era (1977-80), and certainly the school's most decorated athlete since the basketball heyday of Michael Jordan … Recorded 167 tackles (128 solos) with 30.5 sacks for minus-209 yards and 53 stops behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 267 yards during his three-year career … Only Greg Ellis (32.5, 1994-97) had more sacks in a career at North Carolina.


2001 SEASON

Winner of the Lombardi Award, given to the nation's top lineman, becoming the first player in school history to win that award … Won the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the nation's best overall defensive player … Unanimous All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team choice … Only the second unanimous All-American in school annals, following Lawrence Taylor (1980) … Finished 10th in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy, the highest finish by a Tar Heel since 1976 … Finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award … Named FWAA-Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week (Syracuse) … Lined up at weakside defensive end … Recorded 63 tackles (46 solos) with 9.5 sacks for minus-56 yards and 19 stops for losses of 74 yards … Intercepted three passes for 42 yards in returns and a touchdown … Deflected nine passes and had eight quarterback pressures … Also caused a fumble.

  • Oklahoma - Picked off a Nate Hybl pass with 1:48 to play in the first quarter and dashed 29 yards for Carolina's first touchdown … It was the third defensive score of his career … Also recorded five tackles with two stops for minus-5 yards.
  • Texas - The focus of Texas' offensive game plan, Peppers was constantly double-teamed had just two tackles and a pass deflection.
  • Maryland - Had five tackles, including four stops for losses of 21 yards, and three sacks … It was the fourth time in his career that he has had at least three sacks in a game.
  • Florida State - Was all over the field in Carolina's 41-9 win over then-No. 6 Florida State … Tied his career high with 10 tackles, including a 5-yard sack and four stops for losses of 9 yards … Also had an interception — his second of the season — for 13 yards.
  • North Carolina State - Teamed with DE Joey Evans to sack Philip Rivers and cause a fumble in the fourth quarter … Helped Carolina's defense hold NC State to a season-low 52 yards rushing … Finished with three tackles and a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage.
  • East Carolina - Registered four tackles (three solos) and a sack in the Tar Heels' 24-21 win … With Carolina holding a tenuous 21-13 lead in the fourth quarter, Peppers sacked ECU's David Garrard for a 9-yard loss on third down, forcing an ECU punt from its end zone … Carolina got good field position on the ensuing drive and tacked on a field goal that proved to be the winning margin.
  • Virginia - Posted five solo tackles, including three stops for losses of 10 and two sacks in the Tar Heels' 30-24 victory … Sacked Matt Schaub for a three-yard loss in the first quarter and then added a six-yard sack late in the fourth quarter … Also chased down running Tyree Foreman for a 1-yard loss on a pass play.
  • Clemson - Made one of the most spectacular plays of the season when he picked off Woody Dantzler's pass in the second quarter of Carolina's 38-3 victory … Also added five tackles and one sack … Named the ACC's Defensive Line Player of the Week … The interception was his team-leading third of the season and is the most by a defensive lineman this season … On the play, he took on two blockers and jumped up to bat the Dantzler's pass straight up into the air. Then while falling to the ground, Peppers lunged for the ball and made the interception … Part of a Carolina defense that limited Clemson to a season-low 209 yards of offense and held Dantzler to just 116 total yards. In the previous two weeks, Dantzler had accumulated 935 total yards.
  • Duke - Posted six tackles (four solos) with a stop behind the line of scrimmage and a pass breakup.
  • Southern Methodist - Made five tackles with a 7-yard sack and batted down a pass … Held the Mustangs to just 96 yards rushing.
  • Auburn (Peach Bowl) - Closed out his career by delivering six tackles (three solos), including one that stopped tailback Chris Butler for a 2-yard loss.

2000 SEASON

Named first-team All-American by CNNSI.com and CollegeFootballNews.com, adding second-team honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, The Associated Press and Football News … Earned first-team All-ACC recognition … Led the nation with 15 total sacks and was second in sacks per game (1.36) … Finished one sack shy of Lawrence Taylor's school record of 16 established in 1980 … Established the school record and was third in the country with 24 tackles for loss (2.18 per game), breaking the previous record of 23 set by Ebenezer Ekuban in 1998 … Of his 15 sacks, 13 came on the road … Also recorded 64 tackles (44 solos) with a fumble recovery and three forced fumbles … Had two deflected passes and a 27-yard interception return … Credited with 24 quarterback pressures and three forced fumbles … Started all year at strongside defensive end.


1999 SEASON

Named Freshman All-America by The Sporting News … Chosen UNC Co-Most Outstanding Freshman with wide receiver Sam Aiken … Started all year at strongside defensive end … Recorded 50 tackles (38 solos) with six sacks for minus-36 yards and 10 stops for losses of 47 yards … Caused and recovered a fumble … Deflected two passes and intercepted another … Credited with eight quarterback pressures.


1998 SEASON

Redshirted as a freshman.


BASKETBALL

  • 2000-2001 Season - Joined the basketball team after the conclusion of the football season and the completion of fall semester exams … Made his season debut at UCLA on Dec. 23 after just three days of practice and had six points and four rebounds in the win … Made his first career start on Feb. 10 vs. Maryland and responded with a career-high 18 points … Dunk against Wake Forest (1/6) was CNN/SI's Play of the Day … Matched his then-career-scoring high with 14 points in the Feb. 3 win over Georgia Tech (also had 14 at home against the Yellow Jackets as a freshman) … Had six points, five rebounds and an impressive left-handed dunk in the win at Wake Forest on Feb. 6 … Started both NCAA Tournament games, responding with 12 points against Princeton and a career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds against Penn State (his first career double-double).
  • 1999-2000 Season - Became a key component in Carolina's improbable run to the Final Four … Averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds and blocked 17 shots in 31 games … Made 56 of 98 field goal attempts (57.1 percent) … Was 11 for 16 from the free-throw line in the NCAA Tournament … Was repeatedly called a "godsend" by then-head coach Bill Guthridge for his contributions … Began practicing with the basketball team on Nov. 29th, two days before the Michigan State game … Averaged 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in the five NCAA Tournament games … Scored six points and blocked three shots in upset win over No. 1 seed Stanford in the second round.

AGILITY TESTS

4.74 in the 40-yard dash … 34 1/8-inch arm length … 10-inch hands … Right-handed.

HIGH SCHOOL


Named a Parade All-American as an all-purpose talent at Southern Nash High School, North Carolina High School Athletic Association Male Athlete of the Year and earned All-State honors as a junior at defensive end for Southern Nash (Bailey, N.C.) High … Played tailback and defensive end, rushing for 3,501 yards and 46 touchdowns in his career … Had six sacks as a senior … Earned All-State honors as a senior and was a four-time All-Conference choice in basketball … His AAU team won the national championship … Competed four years in track, performing in the triple jump and relays.

PERSONAL

Afro-American Studies major … Born Julius Frazier Peppers on Jan. 18, 1980 in Wilson, N.C. … Resides in Bailey, N.C.

STATS

DEFENSIVE STATS
YEARGPGSTKSOASFRFCINTTFLPBUSACKPRES
1999111150381211110-4726.0-3610
2000111164442013124-146215.0-11724
2001121163461701319-7499.5-568
TOTAL34331671284925553-2671330.5-20942

INTERCEPTION RETURNS
YEARNOYARDSAVGTDLONG
1999100.000
200012727.0127
200134214.0129
TOTAL56913.8229

ADVANCED FUMBLES
YEARNOYARDSAVGTDLONG
200011212.0112
TOTAL11212.0112

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