Michigan dismantled Rutgers 78-0 on Saturday in a game that was only surprising when it came to the lopsidedness of the final box score.
After the game, head coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about the play of all-everything athlete Jabrill Peppers, who was playing back in his native New Jersey for the first time. Not surprisingly Harbaugh lauded a ton of praise on the linebacker and brought up an interesting comparison for his ability to play all over the field.
“To be able to coach a guy like Jabrill Peppers is a real joy. There’s so much more. There’s nothing he can’t do. It’s the darndest thing I’ve ever seen. My humble opinion is we are looking for a Heisman Trophy winner, candidate,” Harbaugh said. “Jim Thorpe, it just came to me. Only player I can think of comparing Jabrill to.”
Peppers stuffed the stat sheet against the Scarlet Knights on Saturday despite playing only in the first half. He rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns on offense while adding two tackles on defense. He also scored a third time on a dazzling punt return but that play that was overturned because of a block in the back.
With numbers like those, you can understand why Peppers’ name is starting to appear on Heisman lists across the country. In terms of actually winning the award like fellow Michigan man Charles Woodson, there’s still going to be an uphill battle for him as a defensive player but maybe Harbaugh could be on to something by channeling Thorpe. The legendary athlete played running back, defensive back and kicker back in his college career so perhaps Peppers will be lining up to kick a field goal next week against Illinois to add to his resume this season.