North State Journal’s 100 in 100 series will showcase the best athlete from each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. From Alamance to Yancey, each county will feature one athlete who stands above the rest. Some will be obvious choices, others controversial, but all of our choices are worthy of being recognized for their accomplishments — from the diamond and gridiron to racing ovals and the squared circle. You can see all the profiles as they’re unveiled here.
Torry Holt is batting .500 when it comes to Hall of Fame elections over the past year.
In December, the former NC State and St. Louis Rams wide receiver was inducted into the college football shrine at a black-tie ceremony in New York. Less than a month later, the Gibsonville native was announced as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Even though he fell short of enshrinement on the latter in his first year as a finalist, the twin nominations solidified Holt’s standing as one of the best at his position ever to play the game.
Not that his numbers didn’t already speak for themselves.
He caught 42 touchdowns passes while earning prep All-America honors during a standout career at Eastern Guilford High School. After a year at Hargrave Military Academy working to improve his SAT scores, he set his sights on rewriting the entire receiving chapter in the NC State record book.
Holt still holds Wolfpack school records for receiving yards in a career (3,379), season (1,604) and game (255 against Baylor in 1998). His 15 catches against Wake Forest in his senior season is also still tied for the most in school history, while his 88 catches in 1998 stood as a State record until Jakobi Meyers finally surpassed it in 2018.
“I’m just a representation of all the great wide receivers that came from North Carolina State University, like Mike Quick, Haywood Jeffires, Eddie Goines, Jerricho Cotchery, Koren Robinson … the list goes on and on,” the 1998 ACC Player of the Year said. “I’m an example of that. I’m going into the College Football Hall of Fame, but all of those guys are going in with me because they showed me how to do it the right way.”
Nicknamed “Big Game” because of his penchant for playing his best when the stakes were highest, Holt became an integral part of the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” after being selected with the sixth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft.
Holt caught 52 passes with six touchdowns in helping his team to Super Bowl XXXIV as a rookie. He went on to record 1,300 or more receiving yards in six straight seasons, an NFL record, while going to seven Pro Bowls in 11 seasons and ranking 13th all-time in career receiving yardage at 13,382.