This larger-than-life statue honors Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, twice a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy while piling up yardage as an elusive running back at Carolina in the late 1940s. An icon of athleticism and good sportsmanship, Justice died in 2003 at age 79.
Asheboro, North Carolina, artist Johnpaul Harris created this privately funded, 8′ 6″, 950-pound statue for the entrance of the Frank H. Kenan Football Center. Rather than depicting Justice in the exaggerated action pose typical of athletic statues, Harris chose to represent him in an “everyman pose,” walking with his helmet in hand. This allowed Harris not only to show Justice’s face (a dead-on likeness, according to teammates and photographer Hugh Morton), but also to emphasize his humanity. Other well-known works by Harris include “Mildred the Bear” at Grandfather Mountain and the White Rhino statue in the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.