Most observers at both the collegiate and NFL levels expected Jabrill Peppers to make this his last season at the former level. Tuesday, the Michigan defensive back confirmed as much.
Peppers confirmed to SI.com that he is leaving the Wolverines to enter the NFL draft. According to the player, he met with his family in New Jersey and informed head coach Jim Harbaugh of his decision at a meeting Monday.
It also comes nearly two weeks after he sat out the Orange Bowl because of a hamstring issue.
“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” Peppers told the website. “I’m choosing between cementing my legacy as a college player and starting my pro legacy. It’s something you dream of when you were a kid. I was torn between the two.”
The 2016 winner of the Paul Hornung Award for best all-around player in college football, Peppers was also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award ((best defensive player) and Maxwell Award (best player). He was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, finishing fifth in this past year’s voting.
Peppers played 933 snaps in 12 games during the regular season — 726 on defense, 53 on offense and 154 on special teams. The junior played those 933 snaps at 15 different positions.
While mock drafts almost universally have him slotted inside their Top 15, just where Peppers will line up at the next level is still to be determined.