Weight: 202 lbs.
High school: Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Position: Defensive back
Jersey number: #5
Last year: Peppers was a senior in high school. He had 57 tackles and 4 interceptions.
Final TTB Rating: 100
With the vast amounts of recruiting coverage these days - four major websites, nationally televised all-star games, nationally televised workouts and touch football, and numerous blogs including this one - it's only natural that recruiting hype surpasses that of which occurred five or more years ago. Inflation even taken into account, Peppers might be the most hyped recruit in Michigan history. His high school games were nationally televised, his announcement was nationally televised, and I even had a defensive back the other day say he wanted to be like Jabrill Peppers. Just for a refresher course on his ratings as a prospect, let's take a look:
ESPN: 5-star, #1 cornerback, #2 overall
Rivals: 5-star, #1 cornerback, #3 overall
Scout: 5-star, #1 cornerback, #3 overall
247 Sports: 5-star, #1 athlete, #4 overall
During the Rivals era (since 2002), Peppers is Michigan's highest-ranked commit. Next is quarterback Ryan Mallett (#4 in 2007) and then linebacker Prescott Burgess (#6 in 2003).
As for his accomplishments on the field, Peppers and his Don Bosco team won state championships when he was a freshman and sophomore. Then he transferred to Paramus Catholic prior to his junior year, where he and his team won state championships when he was a junior and senior. As one might expect, he was a do-it-all player at Paramus Catholic, where he played quarterback, running back, receiver, cornerback, safety, and returner. He did them all well. He was an Under Armour All-American. And by the way, he won the state championship in the 100 meters with a time of 10.52 seconds and holds the state record in the 200 meters with a time of 20.79 seconds.
What should we expect from him on the field in 2014? Nobody really has a clue. Head coach Brady Hoke insists they'll start him off as a nickel corner. Jabrill Peppers has reportedly told people he'll play safety. Hoke doesn't want to give him too much responsibility right off the bat. Peppers has said that he'll do whatever the coaches ask, but that he's looking forward to being used on both sides of the ball at some point. It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that he will be given a chance to return kickoffs and punts, but will he beat out incumbent Dennis Norfleet for the kick return job? Can he nab the punt return job from the guys jostling to replace Jeremy Gallon?
The best way for me to go about predicting his season is to break it down position-by-position:
Kickoff return: Peppers will be out there alongside Dennis Norfleet from week one.
Punt return: The coaches will play it safe with a more experienced player (Norfleet, Jourdan Lewis, Blake Countess) to start the year. Peppers might get a chance depending on how sure-handed those guys are.
Wide receiver: Peppers will start seeing some offensive snaps midway through the season.
Slot corner: Peppers will get his feet wet as the fourth cornerback behind Countess, Lewis, and Raymon Taylor. By the end of the season, he will be starting at . . .
Strong safety: Peppers's playmaking ability is too difficult to keep off the field, and Delano Hill/Dymonte Thomas aren't exactly established veterans themselves.
Let's once again enjoy his senior highlights: