The 2020 College Football Hall of Fame ballot came out on Monday, and there are some names that Carolina Panthers fans may recognize. Ron Rivera, Ed McCaffrey, Dan Morgan, and Julius Peppers are on the ballot this year.
Rivera’s book is still being written. The Carolina Panthers head coach currently has a record of 71-56 and three NFC South division titles to his name. He also has a Super Bowl appearance to his credit, but we won’t delve too much into that. He was a consensus All-American in 1983, and was the East-West shrine game MVP in 1984. There is no doubt he has a very detailed football legacy.
Peppers has an accomplished football legacy of his own. As strange as it sounds, he was a ball hawk, totaling five interceptions in three years at North Carolina. Once he got to the National Football League, he sort of became purely a pass rusher. There was never any doubt that he was a tremendous athlete. In 2001, he won the Chuck Bednarik award, was a consensus All-American, and won the Vince Lombardi award. That is a pretty good resume if you ask me. It is also worth noting that he played basketball during his time at North Carolina. It just speaks to how fierce a competitor he was.
Morgan had a great career for the Carolina Panthers. Playing in Charlotte from 2001-2007, he certainly left his mark in the collegiate ranks. In the year 2000 alone, he won the Chuck Bednarik award, the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, the Dick Butkus award, the Big East Defensive player of the year, was a first-team All-American, and was a unanimous All-American. That is an impressive resume.
He managed to keep up that stout level of play in the National Football League. 2004 was his best year. That year, he was An All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl. He recorded 101 tackles in 12 games. For his career, all spent with Carolina, he recorded 386 tackles seven sacks, three forced fumbles, and five interceptions, and 59 games. He was truly a defensive stud for Carolina and would certainly make today’s addition of the Carolina Panthers defense very proud.
Overall, this is a great class littered with Carolina Panthers ties. We are bound to see some Panthers in the Hall. It cannot be understated that there is a tremendous football tradition in the Carolinas, one that is going as strong as ever.