Back UNC’s Final Four

UNC’s Final Four

By Jim Johnson
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In honor of the Tar Heels making the basketball Final Four, here are their four greatest players in program history.

Dre' Bly, CB:
Bly redshirted his first season at North Carolina, but as a redshirt freshman, his eleven interceptions were tops in the nation. He became one of just a handful of players in college football history to be an unanimous All-American in his debut season. As a sophomore, he went on to finish as a finalist for the Nagurski Award (given annually to the best defensive player in the country), and was a consensus All-American, again. He went to the NFL as the ACC's all-time leader in career picks.

Amos Lawrence, RB:
Lawrence was very highly touted out of Lake Taylor High School, named the national high school back of the year by Parade Magazine in 1975. He more than lived up to his billing. He remains the lone Tar Heels running back to ever break the 1,000-yard rushing mark in each of his four seasons. His career rushing numbers consist of 4,391 yards, and 28 touchdowns. His rushing total places him third all-time in the ACC.

Julius Peppers, DE:
Peppers was another highly touted prospect, before heading to Chapel Hill. He was a Parade All-American as a senior in high school. As a sophomore, he led the nation in sacks and was a first-team All-ACC defensive lineman. His junior year, Peppers earned another first team all-conference nod, and added the Bednarik Award and Lombardi Award to his list of accolades. His 30.5 career sacks are second in Tar Heel history.

Lawrence Taylor, OLB:
Taylor didn't pick up the sport of football until he was a junior in high school, so it took some time for him to find his legs at North Carolina. He didn't do much until his junior year, at which point he took the game by storm. As a senior, 'LT' piled up 16 sacks, a school record that still stands. That year, he was also a unanimous first team All-American and the ACC Player of the Year. He went on to become one of the greatest players in NFL history.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP