As fall approaches fans and the media will begin picking out the early favorites for every major college award. The Heisman Trophy is arguably the most desired piece of individual hardware handed out each year. Based on last year’s stellar display and his potential, Jabrill Peppers is a Heisman favorite.
Jabrill Peppers is a Heisman Favorite in 2016
Following his great play last year for the Wolverines, Peppers has garnered the attention of many of college football’s biggest awards watch lists for 2016. He is a threat in all three phases of the game. Peppers has big play ability on defense and in the return game. But what may be even more exciting this season is when Peppers gets the chance to showcase his abilities on the offensive side of the ball.
There has rarely been a more exciting freshman year than the one that Peppers had in 2015. Playing a total of 986 snaps last season, he was a constant contributor to a revamped Wolverine squad. While the majority of those snaps came on defense, Peppers had 171 special teams plays and played 50 offensive downs to boot. His play making ability earned him several postseason awards last year, including, but not limited, to Big Ten Freshman of the Year, First Team all Big Ten defensive selection, and Second Team All-American. Peppers showed signs of why he was so highly sought after coming out of high school.
The 2016 season promises to be even better for the young man. Peppers is already a preseason All-American pick by several different media outlets and on many Heisman watch lists. With possibly more accolades to come, look for Peppers to leap his way up NFL draft boards. Peppers has been listed by several Big Ten players as, not only the conferences most dangerous defensive player, but the most dangerous offensive player as well. That is a great deal of respect and praise for the redshirt sophomore. His Michigan teammates have the same admiration for Peppers. “He runs the ball. He can tackle the ball, cover. If you want to look at a world class athlete, look at him,” said fellow Wolverine Jourdan Lewis.
New Year, New Role
This fall along with being one of the teams leaders, Peppers will switch to an outside linebacker role. This change will allow him to rush the passer, stop the run and cover receivers down the field, giving him more opportunities for big plays. The athletic playmaker is a game changer whose competitive fire will make him the one of most talked about players in the country.
“Combine the passion he has for the game, the seriousness to get better, the work ethic and ultimately the competitiveness that he has….that is the perfect combination,” said Jim Harbaugh.
To compliment his extraordinary athletic prowess, Peppers is extremely intelligent when it comes to his football IQ. The coaching staff has stated on numerous occasions that if you show him something once, he gets it. His potential for greatness has no ceiling.
During camp this year Peppers has been working even harder on the offensive side of the ball. He has been used as a slot receiver, a running back and even as a wildcat quarterback. Combine that with his work as a returner and he could go well over 1,000 snaps this season. It is surely going to be exciting in The Big House this year. The chances will be there for Peppers to shine and no doubt he will seize all the opportunities he can. If he can stay healthy, there is no reason why the Peppers can’t be as great as everyone predicts. Jabrill Peppers is definitely a Heisman favorite heading into the 2016 season.