|Paramus (NJ) Catholic cornerback Jabrill Peppers (image via iSportsWeb)|
Weight: 205 lbs.
High school: Paramus (NJ) Catholic
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.