North Carolina native Julius Peppers retires from football after 17 years in the NFL

One of the best football players of all time will hang up his cleats after 17 seasons in the NFL.

North Carolina native, Julius Peppers ends his career fourth in NFL history with 159.5 sacks--97 of those happened while he wore a Carolina Panthers uniform.

Peppers is the only player in NFL history to have 150 sacks and 10 interceptions (he had 11 interceptions). Peppers was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times, which is the fifth most by a defensive lineman.

Peppers played football and basketball at the University of North Carolina. He is from Nash County and has given back time and time again over the years--including recently with Hurricane Florence recovery efforts.

"Julius is one of the greatest to ever play the game of football," head coach Ron Rivera said. "To put up the numbers he did for as long as he did speaks to his incredible talent and commitment. He is a leader in the locker room and in the community. Getting to know him over the last two seasons has been tremendous because of the type of person he is. What he did for the people affected by Hurricane Florence, getting involved and bringing them hope, says a lot about him. I'm proud that I get to say that I was one of his coaches, and I think it's fitting that he gets to end his career as a Carolina Panther."

After a stellar high school career at Southern Nash High School, Peppers went to UNC as a two-sport athlete--playing football and basketball.

Peppers finished his Tar Heel career with 30.5 sacks and five interceptions. He was a first-team All American selection in his final two years at UNC (2000-2001).

The Carolina Panthers selected Peppers second overall in the 2002 NFL Draft.

Peppers played his first eight and final two seasons with the Panthers. In between, he had stints with the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.
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