Ryan Mallett

It’s official: Michigan to redshirt Jabrill Peppers

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As has been expected for quite a bit of time, the top recruit in Michigan’s most recent class won’t step foot on the field again in 2014.

Wednesday afternoon, head coach (for now) Brady Hoke confirmed that Jabrill Peppers will not play again this season and will take a medical redshirt.  Peppers has been hampered by health issues the entire 2014 season.

Two separate leg injuries have cost Peppers significant playing time during his true freshman season. The Wolverines have played nine games this season, with the cornerback missing six full contests. He’s missed parts of two others due to the health issues.

We’re going to redshirt him for this year,” Hoke said. “Him and I have had a lot of different conversations, I’ve talked with his mother, doctors, trainers and everybody that should be included in the conversation.

“But he’s taking care of himself (physically). He’s been great with treatments and rehab and all those things. He’s doing a tremendous job in school right now academically and he’s excited about whenever he can get back on the field. His (health) has improved, but he’s not going to be where you’d want a guy to be who has that kind of ability (this year).”

Because he played in less than 30 percent of UM’s games and because none of that playing time came after the halfway point of the season, he will qualify for a medical waiver.

Peppers was a consensus five-star recruit in 2014, rated as the No. 1 corner and the No. 3 player at any position in the country. Peppers served as the highest-rated recruit UM has ever signed since the founding of Rivals‘ back in 2002. The previous high was Ryan Mallett as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2007.

Entering his first season in Ann Arbor, Peppers earned a starting job at both corner and on the punt return unit.  He started the opener against Appalachian State as the nickel corner, and played in three games total.

Hoke ‘not at all’ worried about Peppers bolting Michigan

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Whether it be because of Brady Hoke‘s tenuous hold on his job or all of the tumult surrounding the football program or the injuries or the frustration borne out of everything, there have been some rumblings that highly-touted 2014 signee Jabril Peppers could — could — be thinking about a transfer from Michigan.

For what it’s worth, and at least publicly, the talent true freshman’s head coach isn’t the least bit concerned.

No, not all,” Hoke said during a radio interview Thursday when asked if he was concerned about Peppers’ transferring.

“He came here for a lot of different reasons, and one of them is, as a young kid, he’s always loved Michigan. That was his team growing up in New Jersey. He knows the value of an education. He’s doing great in school, and (knows the value of this) education and what it can do after football.”

Two separate leg injuries have cost Peppers significant playing time his first season in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines have played eight games this season, with the cornerback missing five full contests. He’s missed parts of two others due to the health issues.

As had previously been reported, Hoke allowed that a medical redshirt is a possibility. Then again, so is a return.

Michigan’s coach has not ruled out a potential medical redshirt season for Peppers, and he also hasn’t ruled out a return for the former five-star recruit at some point over the next four games.

He indicated Michigan will know “in the near future” what the ultimate fate will be for Peppers this season, whether he sits the rest of the way or attempts to come back and play.

If Peppers doesn’t play any additional games this season, he will be eligible for a medical redshirt.

Peppers was a consensus five-star recruit in 2014, rated as the No. 1 corner and the No. 3 player at any position in the country. Peppers served as the highest-rated recruit UM has ever signed since the founding of Rivals‘ back in 2002. The previous high was Ryan Mallett as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2007.

He earned a starting job at both corner and on the punt return unit.

Jabrill Peppers, UM’s top 2014 signee, to be primary punt returner

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One of the top freshmen in the Class of 2014 will be adding some additional responsibilities his first season at the collegiate level.  And, somewhere, Charles Woodson is smiling over the development.

While not really a surprise, and saying “we want improvement” in that phase of the game, Michigan’s Brady Hoke confirmed Friday that star 2014 signee Jabrill Peppers will be utilized as the Wolverines’ primary punt returner.  After averaging just over six yards a return last season, one of the fastest players in the most recent recruiting class certainly won’t do anything but help that unit.

That’ll be Jabrill,” the head coach said when asked about the job of returning punts. “I think, No. 1, we’re putting a lot of our best guys on the field. I think that’s a plus. I think we’ve had some (punt returners) in the last three years that have been decent, and sometimes maybe we haven’t fielded the ball as well as we should sometimes.”

In addition to his punt-return duties, Peppers will play an integral role in UM’s secondary this season, whether it be as a starter or a nickel cornerback. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said a couple of weeks ago that Peppers wouldn’t just be handed a job; with game day a week away, the defensive back has done just that.

Peppers was a consensus five-star recruit, rated as the No. 1 corner and the No. 3 player at any position in the country. Peppers served as the highest-rated recruit UM has ever signed since the founding of Rivals‘ back in 2002. The previous high? Ryan Mallett as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2007.

Oh yeah, and as I said, he’s kind of a fast human being.

Rivals No. 3 Jabrill Peppers follows through on verbal, signs with Michigan

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While its “little brother” may be sweating it out on National Signing Day on a couple of defensive fronts, Michigan can breathe a little bit easier this morning.

At 8:01 a.m ET Wednesday, highly-touted cornerback Jabrill Peppers officially faxed his National Letter of Intent to the UM football office, ending any doubt that he’d follow through on his late May verbal commitment to the Wolverines.  In November, the New Jersey high school product indicated that he may visit other schools following the completion of his senior season.

An official visit a month later to Ann Arbor, however, all but ended any worries of a flip.

Suffice to say, the UM coaching staff is ecstatic over officially adding the No. 3 player at any position in the Rivals100 rankings.  At the time of his verbal, Peppers was the No. 2 player in those rankings.

“We are so excited about Jabrill and what he brings to this defense,” defensive coordinator Greg Mattison told the school’s official website. “When you have a corner (like that) we can really come and bring the pressure packages we want.

“The size, the speed, the competitiveness… he’s got the whole package.”

Peppers serves as the highest-rated recruit UM has ever signed since the founding of Rivals‘ back in 2002.  The previous high?  Ryan Mallett as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2007.

(Photo credit: Paramus (NJ) Catholic High School)

Wolverines land verbal from Rivals’ No. 2 2014 recruit

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Take that, Ohio.

In a televised press conference (insert face palm here) late Sunday afternoon, New Jersey cornerback Jabrill Peppers announced, as has long been expected, he has verbally committed to play his collegiate football at the University of Michigan.  The 2014 prospect opted for the Wolverines over a group of finalists that included LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State, home-state Rutgers and Stanford.

Peppers, the 10th verbal in UM’s 2014 recruiting efforts, has been a lifelong UM fan, and the recruiting process was simply a matter of the teenager following his heart.

“Go Blue, baby!” Peppers said during the announcement. “I’m going to Michigan. …

“It was always my dream to play for Michigan. They were my favorite team since I was a young kid.”

(Writer’s note: it’s at this point in the program where we’re compelled to remind you that verbal commitments are non-binding and nothing is official until pen is put to paper on National Signing Day early next February.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.)

Both Rivals.com and ESPN have the 6-1, 210-pound defensive back rated as the No. 2 player in the country at any position.  247Sports.com rates him as the No. 8 player in the Class of 2014, while Scout.com has penciled him in at No. 11 on their big board.

If Peppers’ verbal commitment turns into a signing, and if Peppers maintains his current ranking, he would be the highest-rated recruit UM has ever signed since Rivals‘ founding back in 2002.  The previous high?  Ryan Mallett as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2007.