Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice

Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice

Details

  • Position: Halfback
  • School: North Carolina
  • High School: Asheville, NC (Lee Edwards HS)
  • Years: 1946-1949
  • Inducted: 1961
  • Place of Birth: Asheville, NC
  • Date of Birth: May 18, 1924
  • Place of Death: Cherryville, NC
  • Date of Death: Oct 17, 2003
  • Jersey Number: 22
  • Height: 5-10
  • Weight: 165

Member Biography

Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice was a winner all the way. He led Edwards High School in Asheville, NC to two unbeaten seasons. He played in the game matching North Carolina all-stars against South Carolina all-stars and scored three touchdowns. After high school, he spent four years in the Navy in World War II. Part of that time he was a star on the football team at Bainbridge Naval Center. After his discharge, he was offered a pro football contract. He chose instead, at age 22, to start college. He was the starting tailback four years in the single-wing formation coached by Carl Snavely at North Carolina. North Carolina had a 32-9-2 record in his time (1946-49). He was named All-America in 1948 and 1949 and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting both years. A book was written, "Choo Choo." A song, "All the Way with Choo Choo," was recorded by the Benny Goodman band. Justice set a school record for total offense that lasted for 45 years. Among his achievements: 1946--As a freshman against Virginia, Justice carried the ball 17 times and gained 170 yards. 1948--He led North Carolina to a 9-1-1 record a national ranking of No. 3, highest in school history. He gained 766 yards rushing and 846 passing. He returned 19 punts for an average of 17.5 yards, five kickoffs for an average of 18 yards. His punting average, 44.1 yards, led the nation. He was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1950 College All Star Game, leading the college team to a 17-7 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. He played for the Washington Redskins 1950-54. He was born May 18, 1924, in Asheville, NC. He died October 17, 2003, at age 79 in Cherryville, NC. In 1970, the university dedicated a section of its athletic center in his name, calling it the Charlie Justice Hall of Honor.