Julius Peppers' humble reaction
Julius Peppers is one of the most devastating pass-rushers in NFL history. Huge expectations were placed on the player after a phenomenal basketball and football career at North Carolina. He was the No. 2 overall selection. Despite all the hype, the defensive end far exceeded this en route to being a generational game-wrecker.
Peppers made the NFL's All-Decade Team twice. He's a three-time All-Pro. A nine-time Pro Bowler. His 159.5 career sacks rank No. 4 on the all-time list behind only Kevin Greene, Reggie White, and Bruce Smith. He is now a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer.
The former Carolina Panthers edge rusher was still letting it all sink in based on comments via the team's website. Peppers was humble in accepting the highest accolade imaginable. But make no mistake, he's entirely deserving.
"It hasn't set in yet. Like I said, I'm not sure when it will, but, no, I don't consider myself in the same class as these guys. If I'm being really honest with you. I mean, when you step back, and I guess when you look at it from the numbers and from that point of view, I guess I do. But, you know, most of the time, you don't. At least me, I don't view myself like that. A lot of . . . all the people around me see me in a certain way, but you never actually really see yourself like that. So, that's just where I'm at with it."- Julius Peppers via Panthers.com
Peppers is the second close associate of the Panthers to receive an induction after the great Sam Mills. Looking at those set for eligibility in the not-too-distant future, a few more could follow in the coming years.