Duke vs. the ESPN 150: Part 3 (101 to 150)
The top 150 players in College Football history were unveiled by ESPN this week, but Duke didn’t have any representatives on the list. Still, Duke fans might remember some of the players that were honored. A total of 23 played against the Blue Devils in college. We’ve looked at the Duke connections to the top 50 and 51 through 100. Here’s a look at which of the 101 to 150 players met up with the Blue Devils.
104. Julius Peppers (DE, North Carolina, 1999-2001)
The Blue Devils were routed by the Tar Heels all three seasons he suited up (in football), 38-0, 59-21 and 59-31. Peppers had a sack that forced a fumble and a pick six during the 2000 game.
115. Derrick Brooks (LB, Florida State, 1991-94)
FSU outscored Duke 152 to 48 in the three wins while Brooks was there. He keyed the Noles defense, particularly in the 1993 game, when he had a pick six.
124. Calvin Johnson (WR, Georgia Tech, 2004-06)
The Yellow Jackets swept the Blue Devils all three years that Johnson was catching passes for them. In 2004, he caught 20 and 13-yard scores on his way to 92 yards. The following year, he had 73 yards. He finished his run with 78 yards and scoring catches of 10 and 19 yards.
130. Charlie Ward (QB, Florida State, 1989-93)
Duke faced the 1993 Heisman trophy-winning quarterback twice (on the football field). He passed for 269 yards and four scores in 1992, adding 84 yards on the ground and a touchdown. The following year, he passed for 272 and two touchdowns, rushing for 41 and a score in two lopsided FSU wins to open each season.
133. Charlie Justice (RB, North Carolina, 1946-49)
The legend of Choo Choo Charlie was built largely at the expense of the Blue Devils. “No man during my career as a coach has had the degree of success against my teams throughout his career that Charlie Justice has had,” Wallace Wade said. Justice was involved in all three touchdowns in UNC’s 21-0 win in 1947. In 1948, he ran more than 100 yards, winding across the field and avoiding tacklers on a spectacular 43-yard touchdown run that snapped a scoreless tie.
134. Warrick Dunn (RB, Florida State, 1993-96)
The Noles crushed Duke by a combined four-year score of 218 to 60 while Dunn was there. His best game was in year three, when he had 124 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries. In his senior year, Duke put a pin in his Heisman hopes by holding him to “only” 70 yards on the ground. Over the four years, Dunn had 283 rushing yards and three touchdowns, to go with 128 receiving yards.
139. Woodrow Lowe (LB, Alabama, 1972-75)
He would go on to a Hall of Fame college career, but Lowe’s first collegiate game was a night game against the Blue Devils in Birmingham’s Legion Field. Lowe was a special teamer and overwhelmed by the crowd of 75,000 people, but he shook off the stage fright early to make a tackle on the opening kickoff.
141. Jim Parker (OL, Ohio State, 1954-56)
Parker cleared the way for Hopalong Cassidy during the back’s Heisman winning 1955 season. The Buckeyes hit a roadblock, however, when visiting Duke knocked them off in Columbus.