Thursday, May 23, 2013

Scouting Report: Jabrill Peppers

Paramus (NJ) Catholic cornerback Jabrill Peppers (image via iSportsWeb)
Name: Jabrill Peppers
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 205 lbs.
High school: Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Position: Cornerback
Class: 2014

Notes: Holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Boston College, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, UCLA, USC, Virginia, and West Virginia . . . Transferred from Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep prior to junior season . . . Teammate of 2014 Michigan offensive tackle commit Juwann Bushell-Beatty . . . ESPN 5-star, 95 grade, #1 CB, #2 overall . . . Rivals 5-star, #1 CB, #2 overall . . . Scout 5-star, #4 CB . . . 247 Sports 5-star, 99 grade, #1 ATH, #8 overall

Strengths: Blazing speed . . . Excellent change of direction . . . Aggressive hitter . . . Difficult to block due to quickness, strength, and good leverage . . . Good height and length . . . Solidly built without much bulking up needed . . . Great timing on going up for passes . . . Superb leaping ability . . . Shows strength and coordination to make catches in traffic . . . Tough runner who stays low in and out of cuts

Weaknesses: Does not play cornerback in high school, so technique may need to be learned . . . Showboats a little too much for my tastes (poses for the crowd, jogs into endzone, etc.)

Projection: Cornerback.  Peppers has the speed and change of direction skills to play cornerback at the next level, but if a team needs a safety, running back, wide receiver, or returner, he could do all of those things.  I think he is the best cornerback prospect in the 2014 class.  With some refinement possibly needed in coverage technique, he may struggle a little bit initially; but his kind of coordination and reported dedication to training should correct that quickly.  He could be an All-American by his sophomore year.

Reminds me of: Reggie Bush. I know this is an odd choice because Bush was/is a running back, but Peppers has the same kind of dynamic ability to change direction, outrun people, return kicks/punts, etc. There aren't many cornerbacks who play with the same kind of physicality that Peppers has, so finding a comparison is difficult.  If you make me choose a cornerback, I'll go a little ways back and say Aeneas Williams, the borderline Hall of Famer from the Arizona Cardinals.

Likelihood of committing to Michigan: The popular belief is that Peppers, who has scheduled an announcement for this coming Sunday, will commit to Michigan. Others in the running have been Penn State and Stanford, but the Wolverines appear to be the front-runners.

33 comments:

  1. This kid needs to get his touches on the O too, he is just too dynamic of a player, speed and ability to make people miss.

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  2. I disagree with your assessment of cockiness as a weakness for a CB. The best in the business have an in your face cockiness that is a part of their game. Richard Sherman comes to mind. We can be sure Peppers will never suffer from a lack of confidence.

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    1. That didn't work out so well for Boubacar Cissoko... I'm not saying he should lack confidence. I'm saying I don't like showboating. It can lead to penalties and other kinds of nonsense, and it just lacks class.

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    2. Thats just the nature of CBs and how can that be a weakness?

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    3. Eh, I understand the criticism re: showboating. And to be fair, he did qualify it by saying "for my tastes."

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    4. Showboating is the nature of CBs? I don't get it.

      Here are two examples of good UMich CBs that didn't (IIRC) routinely showboat: Ty Law and Leon Hall.

      Cockiness or outward confidence is another matter. You can have that without showboating.

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    5. Here's one that did: Charles Woodson. His shoulder shimmy was tremendous.

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    6. I was a bit put off by his show boating. He does seem a bit arrogant. Fortunately, personality doesn't have anything to do with wins or losses. Everyone says Tiger Woods is a jerk. I wouldn't worry about penalties. I feel like Peppers would come to Michigan if he chooses to because of the culture and tradition and no one person is bigger than that culture. And as Robert said, the best in the business are cocky and if you've played football, you had better think you are the best out there or you might get hurt. Charles Woodson used to dance and shimmy out on the field, Deion, etc.

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    7. Woodson was quite the showboater. I don't think Peppers is aiming to being a good UMich CB. He intends to win the Heisman as a true freshman. We may not see that as realistic and may insist if we were that gifted we would be more humble about it, but that would be anectdotal. Like Robert said, the best of the best are cocky.

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    8. If he talks the talk he better walk the walk. By all accounts this kid backs up his bravado with his on-field play. So let him be cocky, he seems to have the drive to work hard and get better so I doubt he'll try to rest on his laurels when he gets to college. Deion Sanders "put off" a lot of people with his antics but he was one of the all-time greats, I'd welcome that type of player in A2 any day!

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  3. You'll probably call "bullsh*t" on me here, Magus, but Reggie Bush is the guy who came to mind for me as well. Personally, I would like to see Peppers play on the offensive side of the ball because he is simply an unworldy playmaker. I think he would have more impact on that side and would be a legit Heisman-type talent on offense.

    I also agree about the showboating stuff. I don't have as much of a problem with a guy doing that after the play is over, but when you let up while running to the end zone and almost get caught from behind like he did in one of his early highlights that concerns me. There is a huge difference between the necessary confidence required to be a good CB and the cockiness Peppers shows. I hope that won't be a problem for him in college....assuming he ends up at UM.

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  4. Pretty big fan of his athletic ability... the show boating is overblown a bit, but still, college is all business so you can't risk a penalty and look weak. Denard celebrated the best way possible, on the sideline with your teammates. One small comment, not worth noting really, but the shoe string tackles are less likely to happen at the D1 level so gotta clean that up. Really excited about this kid though. Solid talent.

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  5. I see his showboating on par with Woodson. Hes dominant, but only shows a little flash. I see it as confidence more than anything instead of the showboating we saw at Miami in the 80's

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  6. Nice post. I like the Bush comp and see the similarity. When I watched his highlight tapes I saw an elite athlete with some strength - could help at a number of positions, not unlike #2.

    Assuming Michigan lands him - would he be the best most impressive recruit M has landed since...Henson perhaps? Based on this profile I'm guessing he'll break the TTB rank record.

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    1. You were right about the TTB Rating.

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  7. I'm very curious to see how his career plays out if he comes to Michigan. Both Countess and Taylor are relatively young and talented corners plus the nickel spot looks to be manned by another 5-star athlete in Dymonte Thomas. Yet Peppers looks like he'll be ready to contribute immediately.

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    1. We have learned this lesson before. You can never have enough talent in the defensive backfield. He'll find the field if he comes.

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    2. Dymonte won't be playing nickel next year, he'll be at safety.

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    3. You think so? From what I've read (though it all needs to be taken with a grain of salt) is that Jarrod Wilson is gonna hold down the SS spot and Thomas will be the nickel and sub for both safety spots. Either way, seems like a kid they are gonna get on the field as much as possible.

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    4. I believe Anonymous 2:27 p.m. was talking about 2014. You, JDeMille, seem to be talking about the 2013 season.

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  8. Such an impressive athlete. Assuming he primarily plays defense, I hope they have a few offensive plays for him and maybe a chance to return punts. The minor showboating is no concern. He sounds like a really good kid so once a coach says to clean it up, he will listen. Looking forward to Sunday.

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  9. Magnus,

    When I watched his tape I saw the 'reggie bush' change of direction. I have explained his speed in comparison to Bush when telling friends of Peppers. Full agreement with that and I hope we see him on O.

    Hopefully we land him sunday.

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  10. I can see Jabrill taking the nickle spot next year. Dymonte Thomas will have a lot of game experience and slide in to the safety spot vacated by Thomas Gordon.

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  11. If he can play multiple positions, and IF we're set at corner in 2013, why not help out our receiver corps, which essentially trades Gallon for Drake Harris as the only viable playmaker?

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    1. His best future position is as a CB.

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    2. ...I think you mean 2014.

      This kind of evaluation should take place during 2014 fall camp.

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    3. I think Michigan can find a very capable receiving corps out of Harris, Chesson, Darboh, Jones, Ways, etc.

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  12. About his alleged "showboating," it just isn't there like some of you claim. I get it though. Some of you are of the young age where you grew up with the "everyone is a winner" mentality, and banned kickball in your schools so as not to injure the weak kids' pathetic "self-esteem". See, kids in the east and south are not raised to be pansies like kids elsewhere (especially the west coast where I live).

    Don't dampen the fire within. As long as he isn't un-sportsman like, enjoy his confidence and let his swagger take him where he needs to go. Put a wet towel on him and you're going to put out the fire! Again, no un-sportsman like behavior but if he has swagger, let him swag! Love a guy with confidence especially in this new age of underachievers and failures whose parents always praise them for being so great at everything when they're not. I like to see a kid who has it and can back it up - like Charles Woodson. Charles behavior would probably be condemned by the entire education policy, research, and teaching communities today whereas when he was in college it was normal and no one was offended with their tender little feelings.

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    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Kh7nLplWo

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    2. Anonymous at 12:52 P.M. wrote: Some of you are of the young age where you grew up with the "everyone is a winner" mentality, and banned kickball in your schools so as not to injure the weak kids' pathetic "self-esteem".

      That's a very impressive straw man, 12:52. Very impressive.

      At what point did anyone say this was about hurt feelings? I haven't read that anywhere here. I have the sense that you were aching to scold a "pansy" so much that you forced your idea into the thread.

      I don't think that Peppers' showboating (such as it is in that video) is a big deal, but compare him to (say) LeBron last night. It's OK to cut loose sometimes, but psychologically secure people tend to act "Like they've been there before."

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    3. I take great pleasure in urinating on your lawn.

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  13. When you have swag, any mild showboating is just an extension of the swag

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  14. I'm old enough to remember when players showed class on the field. Showboating has nothing to do with being tough ( a non-pansy). There was actually a time when players didn't jump up and celebrate because they made a tackle or caught a pass.

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