Julius Frazier Peppers was born January 18, 1980 in North Carolina, where he would grow up.
By the time he was a freshman in high school, Peppers had grown to 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. Peppers was not just big, he was a major athlete. He had never played football before, but the school's coach recognized his potential. As a running back and defensive lineman, he finished his career with 3,501 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns, and was one of the best defensive linemen in the state. He also lettered in basketball and was a state champion sprinter and triple jumper.
Peppers would attend the University of North Carolina, where he would become an ACC football legend. In his sophomore year, Peppers had 15 sacks. He finished his career with 30.5 sacks in 33 games he started. Peppers also would become a walk-on for one of the best basketball programs in the country. He was a reserve on the 1999-2000 Final Four Team. In the 2001 Tourney, Peppers scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a loss to Penn State. He could flat out ball, take a look at this:
Peppers decided to focus solely on football, and it's a good thing he did. The Carolina Panthers selected him as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 draft behind quarterback David Carr. All he has done since is make 8 Pro Bowls and terrorize quarterbacks for 125.5 career sacks, leaving him ranked 16th all time.
Peppers has played for the Panthers, Chicago Bears, and now the Green Bay Packers, where a week ago in the Divisional Playoff Game against the Dallas Cowboys he had 6 tackles, a forced fumble on quarterback Tony Romo, drew a key holding penalty, and had a huge forced fumble on running back DeMarco Murray.
I am sure quarterback Aaron Rodgers is glad to see Peppers on his team now:
Peppers will celebrate his birthday by playing in the NFC Championship against the Seattle Seahawks. Happy birthday, Julius Peppers.