Jabrill Peppers, Wolverine

Tag: Jabrill Peppers

26May 2013
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Jabrill Peppers, Wolverine

Paramus (NJ) Catholic cornerback Jabrill Peppers

Paramus (NJ) Catholic cornerback Jabrill Peppers committed to Michigan today. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, and numerous others.

I posted a scouting report on Peppers last Thursday, so you can go there to find a good deal of relevant analysis.  As a junior in 2012, Peppers had 172 carries for 1,552 yards (9.0 yards/carry) and 18 touchdowns; he also caught 20 passes for 337 yards (16.9 yards/catch). And on defense, he had 77 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 3 interceptions.

You can see from the scouting report that I really like Peppers’s game.  He is one of the top few prospects in the country – if not the absolute best – and looks to me like the top cornerback in the nation.  He plays safety for the Paladins, so transitioning to college cornerback might take a little work.  But the physical talent and coordination are sufficient for bumping to corner.  Lots of high schools will put their best player at safety so he can affect the whole field, rather than putting him on one side and letting the opponent run or throw away from him.

As for his role at Michigan, he will presumably arrive in 2014 when starting corners Raymon Taylor and Blake Countess are a senior and a redshirt junior, respectively; the projected free safety will be junior returning starter Jarrod Wilson. A spot should be open at strong safety, which is where current freshman Dymonte Thomas projects to play once Thomas Gordon graduates after the 2013 season.  So once Thomas bumps from his current spot at nickel corner to strong safety, that could open the door for Peppers to start as a freshman and then move into a starting cornerback position as a sophomore in 2015.

As evidenced by his highlights and those statistics above, Peppers could make an impact in numerous ways. The coaches have told him that they might use him in some packages on offense (presumably at wide receiver), and he could also help the team as a punt/kickoff returner.  When talking about Peppers, comparisons to Charles Woodson – Michigan’s cornerback/receiver/returner who won the 1997 Heisman – abound.

Peppers is the tenth member of the 2014 class, which is expected to be no larger than twenty players strong.  He is also the first defensive back of a projected three; Michigan probably wants one more cornerback and a safety.  Michigan has recruited New Jersey heavily in recent years, but results have been mixed in the Garden State.  Peppers’s teammate Juwann Bushell-Beatty is an offensive tackle who committed to Michigan a few weeks ago, but before that the last few players from that state were linebacker J.B. Fitzgerald, safety/linebacker Brandon Smith, and defensive end Anthony Lalota; Fitzgerald lasted all four years but was never more than a backup, and Smith (Temple) and Lalota (Rutgers) transferred before quitting football altogether.

This is the first time I’ve given a . . .

TTB Rating: 100 (ratings explanation)

23May 2013
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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.

12Apr 2013
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Q&A with Jabrill Peppers

I got the chance to speak with 2014 Rivals #2
overall player Jabrill Peppers, following his unofficial visit to Michigan this
past weekend. The junior dominated for Paramus (NJ) Catholic, rushing for over
1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns, catching 5 more, while adding 77 tackles and 3
picks on defense. Despite the success,
the Charles Woodson comparisons, and the jam-packed off-season, Jabrill
remains humble and focused on an even stronger senior season. He kindly took
the time out of his busy schedule to talk with me about his training, goals,
and thoughts on his visit to Ann Arbor. Make sure to take a look at the
attached video links of Jabrill taking his training to a different level.
off an amazing junior year, how are you preparing for your senior season?
“To be even better, to be bigger, smarter, faster, and
make it real tough for everyone in the country.”
part of your game that you feel you need to fine tune or improve on?
“Yes, definitely, my cornerbacking skills. From down
to my stance, pedal, footwork, my breaks on the ball, hand eye coordination.
Things I really need, the fundamentals. In college there is not going to be
that much of a difference between talent and speed, so it’s really going to be
the fundamentals that set you apart.”

are some of the things you are doing to improve on those fundamentals?
“Ladders, fitness ball work, repetition in my backpedal, really a lot of repetition in my breaks. Making sure that the defense
we run is engraved in my head because when you know what you’re doing, you play
faster and you have a better feel of the game.”
me a little bit about your off-season training at Total Nunziato Training (TNT)
and how it’s helping you elevate your game?
“TNT is really helping me. There is a great group of
trainers that really hone in on what you need to do to be better. They focus on
where you need to be at and the process they can help you with to get there.
They really push you to your maximum limit and get the full potential out of
you and take you to places that you can’t take yourself.”
stood out the most from your Michigan trip this past weekend?
“I loved it, it definitely was not what I expected.
I expected it to be good but not as great as it was. I really loved all of the
coaches and everything about that place. Down from the players and even the
students, it was a really friendly place. Academics, they’re the number
seventeen university in the nation academically, so that’s really huge for me.”
caught the picture of you and Denard Robinson from the weekend in Ann Arbor. Can you elaborate on any of the other guys you met out there or coaches that
you met with?
“I got a chance to meet [John] Beilein, the head basketball
coach. I pretty much met the whole basketball team, from Trey Burke to Hardaway
Jr, Mitch Mcgary, so that was pretty cool before the national championship
you get to check some of spring ball practice out?
“Yeah, I got to see them practice. Very intense,
reminds me of our practice, a lot of hitting, a lot of fundamentals. Everything
is run to a “T”, they are never off schedule, and they really get after their
guys in practice making them the best they can be.”
hear a lot about cornerback, and you mentioned working on your cornerback
skills before. Have the Michigan coaches talked to you about a position if you
were to attend the school? And what position would you prefer to play?
“I am definitely going to go to college to be a
defensive back, and there were some talks about getting me a package on
offense. Getting to play a little offense and returning some punts and kicks,
whatever I can do. My goal is to win the Heisman as a true freshman, and to be
the first player to ever do that, and I will do whatever it takes to accomplish
off a state championship season at Paramus Catholic, what are some of your
goals as a team and personally?
“Well the number one goal is not losing any games,
and to win a national championship. We have enough national powers on our
schedule for us to obtain that goal. Every game is going to be a war so we
really need to fine tune our bodies this off-season to prepare for that. It is
really the most important thing. There are no cupcake games this year. We
really want to repeat in the state as well. 12-0 is the goal. For me, I just
want to be better than last year. I want to be a better leader and be able to
take over the game more than I could do last year. Everyone says even from my
sophomore year that I wouldn’t get better, so I topped my sophomore year. Now
we are just going to do the same thing, just my drive, the people and coaches I
surround myself with that push me. We are all just really hungry, we know we
have the opportunity to do something great that has never happened before. We
are definitely excited and ready to go.”
terms of commitment, I know some players like to get everything squared away
before their senior season, while others prefer the highly anticipated hat
ceremony at the last minute. Do you have an idea of when you will be
comfortable making your announcement?
“I’m definitely going to wait until after the
season. My team and our goals are the most important thing right now. We should
have about 8-12 guys on our team that can go Division I, so I’m going to have a
commitment party. I want to get everyone together and have the media there, so
we all can make our announcements then.”


6Apr 2013
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Visitors: First week of April 2013

#73 Juwann Bushell-Beatty and #5 Jabrill Peppers (image via Northjersey.com)

Due to Easter and spring break, lots of kids will be off this week, too, and have a chance to stop by Michigan’s campus throughout the week.

Trey Barksdale – LB – Clinton (MI) Clintondale: Barksdale is a 6’0″, 190 lb. linebacker prospect with no offers at this time.  As a junior in 2012, he had 30 solo tackles, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.  He looks like a player who would be a ways down in the pecking order for a scholarship offer, and Michigan is reportedly looking for just one more linebacker (in addition to Michael Ferns III) in the 2014 class. UPDATE: Barksdale did not make it to campus on Tuesday but may visit later in the week.

David Beedle – DT – Clarkston (MI) Clarkston: Beedle is a 6’5″, 250 lb. defensive tackle with no offers at this time.

Ray Buford – WR – Southfield (MI) Southfield: Buford is a 6’0″, 170 lb. wideout from the class of 2015.  He has no offers at this time.  As a sophomore in 2012, he had 52 receptions for more than 500 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Buford also visited Michigan for the game against Northwestern back in November.  Michigan’s coaching staff seems to want him as a cornerback.

Juwann Bushell-Beatty – OT – Paramus (NJ) Catholic: Bushell-Beatty is a 6’7″, 310 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, and Rutgers, among others.  The 247 Composite rankings place him as a 3-star, the #35 offensive tackle, and the #456 player nationally.

Cole Chewins – TE – Clarkston (MI) Clarkston: Chewins is a 6’7″, 210 lb. tight end for the class of 2015.  He has no offers at this time.  Some sites talk about him as if he’s a linebacker, but he looks too long and lanky to be a linebacker; I think he will likely end up at tight end or defensive end.

Rob Dowdy – OT – Westerville (OH) South: Dowdy is a 6’7″, 250 lb. prospect from the class of 2015.  He has offers from Indiana and Kentucky so far.  He visited Michigan a couple weeks ago, so he appears to be strongly interested in the Wolverines.  Westerville South is the high school of Marcus Ball (Arizona State), whom Michigan offered in the 2013 class.

Lawrence Gordon – DE – Saginaw (MI) Arthur Hill: Gordon is a 6’5″, 230 lb. defensive end from the class of 2016, so he just finished his freshman year.  He has no offers at this time, but he has recently visited Michigan State and Ohio State.

Jamarco Jones – OG – Chicago (IL) De La Salle: Jones is a 6’5″, 290 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Tennessee, among many others.  He has expressed mild interest in Michigan and seems likely to stay somewhere in the midwest, but he does not seem to be very close to committing anywhere.  His 247 Composite ranking (which combines the rankings of Rivals, Scout, and 247 – along with ESPN whenever they rank players) puts him at the #4 offensive tackle and the #53 overall player in the 2014 class.

Evan Mallory – OG – Brownsburg (IN) Brownsburg: Mallory is a 6’4″, 285 lb. prospect for the class of 2015.  He has no offers at this point.  Mallory has good size but is a little slow afoot, but if he can improve his foot speed, he has a chance to become a legitimate prospect.

Lawrence Marshall – DE – Southfield (MI) Southfield: Marshall is a 6’3″, 215 lb. weakside end prospect with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State, among others.  He was committed to OSU for a few days, but that ended quickly.  In 247’s Composite ranking, he’s the #13 weakside end and the #198 player overall.

Malik McDowell – DE – Detroit (MI) Loyola: McDowell is a 6’7″, 290 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, and a host of others.  He is a 5-star or high 4-star caliber prospect.  Michigan and Notre Dame seemed to be neck and neck, but recent info suggests Michigan might be taking a lead.

Sam Mustipher – OG – Olney (MD) Good Counsel: Mustipher is a 6’4″, 285 lb. offensive guard prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and West Virginia, among many others; his father played football for the Mountaineers.  Good Counsel is the alma mater of Michigan cornerback Blake Countess, as well as the home of several other Michigan targets in recent years, including Stefon Diggs (Maryland), Wes Brown (Maryland), Dorian O’Daniel (Clemson), and Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech).  The 247 Composite ranking places him as the #8 offensive guard and #119 player overall.

Brady Pallante – DT – Naples (FL) Barron Collier: Pallante is a 6’1″, 270 lb. prospect with a scholarship offer from Appalachian State and a greyshirt offer from Michigan.  He was very close to committing to Michigan’s greyshirt offer when it happened several weeks ago, but he has decided to wait out the process – at least for a little while – to see what other opportunities arise.

Jabrill Peppers – CB – Paramus (NJ) Catholic: Peppers is a 6’1″, 200 lb. prospect with a top group of schools that includes Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Stanford.  The 247 Composite rankings put him at the #1 athlete prospect (he could also play running back, wide receiver, or safety) and the #5 overall player in the nation. Peppers is the teammate of Bushell-Beatty, mentioned above.

Blaise Stearns – WR – Ann Arbor (MI) Gabriel Richard: Stearns is a 6’2″, 202 lb. receiver from the class of 2013.  He will be a student at Michigan in the fall, so it looks like he might be a walk-on in the future.  As a senior in 2012, he had 25 receptions for 540 yards and 7 touchdowns.  He also had 3 rushing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and 1 defensive touchdown.  I don’t often say this about walk-ons, but based on his film, I think Stearns would have a chance of contributing to the team as a slot receiver or on special teams down the road.

Jared Wangler – LB – Warren (MI) De La Salle: Wangler is a 6’2″, 215 lb. linebacker prospect with offers from Bowling Green, Ohio, Toledo, and Western Michigan.  As a junior in 2012, he had 76 tackles, 15 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1 interception, which was returned for a touchdown.  Wangler is the son of former Michigan quarterback John Wangler and the brother of wide receiver Jack Wangler, who will enroll at Michigan in the fall and walk on to the football team.

Maurice Ways – WR – Detroit (MI) Country Day: Ways is a 6’3″, 195 lb. wideout with offers from Iowa, Kansas, and some MAC schools.  He’s a 3-star, the #76 wide receiver, and the #591 overall player in 247’s Composite rankings.  As a junior in 2012, he had 51 receptions for 957 yards and 9 touchdowns.  Ways also visited Michigan last week.  He has supposedly struggled with drops at times, but athletically, I like Ways and think he might be headed for some big offers down the road.

K.J. Williams – WR – Bethlehem (PA) Liberty: Williams is a 6’2″, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona, Michigan, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, and UCLA, among others.  As a junior in 2012, he had 59 catches for 986 yards and 11 touchdowns.  He also plays safety on defense, but Michigan appears to want him as a wideout.  His 247 Composite ranking places him as a 4-star, the #15 athlete, and the #184 overall player.

3May 2012
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247 Sports: Top 25 for 2014 released

Woodbridge (VA) Woodbridge defensive end Da’Shawn Hand

247 Sports jumped out to the forefront of 2014 recruiting by releasing its top 25 recruits for the class of 2014 on . . . May 3, 2012.  What is this, basketball recruiting?

Anyway, here are some notes on some of the top 25 guys:

1. Da’Shawn Hand – DE – Virginia: Hand already has a Michigan offer, but most expect him to be SEC-bound.

2. Andrew Brown – DT – Virginia: I’ve heard some not-so-flattering things about Brown’s attitude, but he’s a beast of a player.  He also seems to be SEC-bound.

3. Jabrill Peppers – CB – New Jersey: Peppers just got a Michigan offer in the last few days.

13. Damian Prince – OT – Maryland: Prince was offered by Michigan a couple months ago.  He will probably give Michigan a look, but I’m not too confident on most players from the East Coast.

17. Bentley Spain – OT – North Carolina: Spain was offered by Michigan a few weeks ago.  I’m kind of expecting him to go to South Carolina, though.

19. Dante Booker – LB – Ohio: Booker attends St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in Akron, OH.  That’s the same school that sent Doran Grant to Ohio State and Lebron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

20. Jalen Tabor – CB – Washington, D.C.: He has an offer from Michigan, but seems to be leaning toward Tennessee right now.

23. Malik McDowell – DE – Michigan: McDowell already has an offer from Michigan and could very well end up committing to the Wolverines at any point.