THE RESULTS ARE IN: Who made Paramus Catholic’s Mount Rushmore?
By JJ Conrad | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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Aristide Economopoulos | The Star-Ledger
The best of Paramus Catholic
Who are the four best athletes in Paramus Catholic history?
In the slideshow below, we break down the rich Paladins history in our annual summer Mount Rushmore project with a list of nominees and offer you — the fans — the chance to make your picks on what faces would belong on a Paramus Catholic Mount Rushmore.
NJ Advance Media has done the research on the Bergen County school. Now, it’s time for you to make your picks and the bottom of this page. The poll will close on Wednesday, July 11 at noon.
Think we missed someone? Let us know in the comments section or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide us with a name, sports played, year graduated and a list of accomplishments in high school, college and or professionally — along with a photo of the athlete.
UPDATE: THE RESULTS ARE IN
The people of Paramus Catholic have spoken and the school’s Mount Rushmore is complete. But before we reveal our fan poll winners, NJ Advance Media will reveal our own choices first, beginning with the next four slides.
Following that, we will reveal the four fan poll winners.
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Tony Kurdzuk | The Star-Ledger
NJ Advance Media Pick No. 1: Jabrill Peppers, Football/Track and Field, Class of 2014
After spending his first two years of high school at Don Bosco Prep, Peppers transferred to Paramus Catholic his junior year and immediately turned the Paladins’ football program into one of the best in New Jersey. Led by Peppers — the All-USA Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today and a first team All-American — Paramus Catholic won back-to-back state titles in 2012 and 2013. During his high school career, Peppers won four state titles (two at Bosco, two at PC), rushing for 3,059 yards and 43 touchdowns, while adding another 17 touchdown receptions. He also won the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the State Meet of Champions in track as a junior and senior, becoming only the second male in meet history to win both sprints in consecutive years. His 20.79 in the 200 set a New Jersey state record. He went on to Michigan and ended his football career in Ann Arbor finishing fifth in the Heisman Trophy race in 2016. He became the first Big Ten player in history to win the Defensive Player of the Year, the Linebacker of the Year and Return Specialist of the Year that season. Peppers, the recipient of the Paul Hornug Award in 2016 — given to the nation’s most versatile player — was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns (25th overall). Appearing in 13 games last season, Peppers made 57 tackles with three passes defended and one INT.
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Rich Schultz | NJNP Photo
NJ Advance Media Pick No. 2: Anne Donovan, Basketball, Class of 1979
Donovan was the first female player in Bergen County to score over 1,000 points in a single season. Her teams won four County and two state championships from 1976-1979. She was a Parade Magazine All American and a member of three Olympic basketball teams 1980, 1984 and 1988. In 1995, Donovan was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame. She was named the Star-Ledger’s Player of the Century in 2000 after amassing 2,582 career points — a record that still stands today — from 1975-1979. She is the only woman ever to win a collegiate national title (Old Dominion) while also coaching a professional team to a title as well (WNBA’s Seattle Storm) in 2004. Donovan recently died of heart failure at 56 in June.
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Sead Hindash | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
NJ Advance Media Pick No. 3: Rashan Gary, Football, Class of 2016
Gary, a 6-foot-5, 281-pound defensive lineman, transferred to Paramus Catholic from Scotch Plains-Fanwood just before his junior year. He evolved into the nation’s consensus No. 1-ranked recruit from the Class of 2016. His senior year, Gary posted 13.5 sacks, 55 tackles (including 29 for a loss) and forced four fumbles (Gary had 14 sacks as a junior). He was named both the Defensive Player of the Year by both The Star-Ledger and USA Today. Participating in the 2016 Under Armour All-American Game, Gary recorded six tackles and three sacks to earn MVP honors. Gary is considered one the top defensive linemen in college football now at Michigan after appearing in 26 games with 13 starts from 2016-17. He was a first team All-Big Ten honoree, selected by the coaches, last season after registering 62 tackles (11 for a loss) with five sacks.
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