School: University of North Carolina
Sports: Football, Basketball
As a sophomore, Julius Peppers ripped down quarterbacks 15 times to lead the entire country in sacks. His relentless pass rushing campaign was rewarded, and he was named a second-team All-American. The only way to improve upon that, obviously, is to be named to the first-team, something he did as a unanimous choice the very next season. That ended up being his last year before leaving Chapel Hill, N.C., early, but at that point there was nothing left to prove. Especially when you consider that he also won the Bednarik Award, a trophy given annually to the top defender in the nation.
Not content with one sport, Peppers utilized his imposing 6’7” 250-plus-pound frame by walking on to the Tar Heels’ basketball team. He played a reserve role for a squad that made it all the way to the Final Four. The next year they didn’t make it quite that far, but they still got an invite to the Big Dance. In his final game, Peppers posted a double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds) before leaving the sport for good to focus on football. As of this writing, Peppers ranks as the fourth highest earner in NFL history.
So yeah, we’d say he made a good call on that one.