Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Jabrill Peppers Interview/Update
I was able to catch up with one of Michigan's biggest targets in the 2014 recruiting cycle today, Paramus Catholic defensive back, Jabrill Peppers. Peppers is arguably the top prospect in the nation and right now the Wolverines appear to be in pretty solid shape for him.
Michigan visit: I enjoyed the comfort level and how down to Earth the coaches were, and the whole town of Ann Arbor. More importantly the guys on the team. I hung out mostly with Devin Funchess and Terry Richardson.
Have the coaches discussed playing both sides of the ball? Oh yeah, oh yeah obviously. (Laughs) They don't want to waste my talent. I tell people all the time that my goal is to win the Heisman as a true freshman and I'm going to need the ball in my hands to make that dream come true. They've talked about me playing some offense, returning punts, kicks, and just pretty much using me all over the field. I'm open to do whatever I have to do in order to help my team and accomplish my goal that I set for myself when I was an 8th grader.
Comparison to Charles Woodson: Yeah, people have compared me to him. My thing is I don't want to be the next Charles Woodson, I want to be the first Jabrill Peppers. I don't want any limitations on my ability or when I get to college I don't want anyone to put a limit on my ability or say he's another Charles Woodson. It is a great compliment and I'm very grateful that people mention my name in the same sentence as his but I'm my own person and quite frankly I actually want to be better than Charles was. That's just my whole mindset and I want to be the best at whatever I'm doing.
Growing up a Michigan fan: I was just always a fan of the tradition. Guys like Mario Manningham, Charles Woodson, Mike Hart, you know all those guys, I grew up watching them do their thing in the Big House, and seeing the fans go crazy. I loved watching the games against Ohio State and Notre Dame, they were always fierce. I just always loved watching those guys play so that's how that came about.
Top list: Honestly I don't really have a list. I'm still pretty open and just evaluating a lot of things. I definitely want to come to a decision soon so I can focus on my senior year and the upcoming football season. I'm pretty much still open but I do have Ohio State in there, LSU, Stanford and obviously Michigan. I have to evaluate a few things still but I'm pretty much open.
Two-horse race between Michigan and Stanford? It's really not a two-horse race like I said, I'm still pretty open. I can see how people would get that perception, like when I do these interviews they make it exciting for people to read, they're just doing their job so I can understand why people would think that. Michigan and Stanford didn't present with me any negatives so I can imagine why people think it's just those two but I'm still pretty open.
Stanford visit: Yeah it was originally scheduled in July but I'm definitely trying to move that visit up. Me and my coach are still working on that, the timing and the right schedule and what I want to see when I go out there. We are still working on that process and it's only April now so we have a little bit of time left to figure it out.
Speeding up the decision Tweet: I'm probably going to make my decision somewhere in June. Just because it's been getting pretty hectic, just being pulled out of class and all the visiting going on, it's really starting to affect my schoolwork which I really don't like. I just want to get it out of the way and even though it's a huge decision I feel as though I've seen enough, and I will see enough from the other schools that I see. I just want to get this huge weight off my shoulders and be focused on school and my senior year. I want to go out with a bang and win a high school national championship.
Deciding factors: Really it's pretty basic stuff. The comfort level that I feel with the coaches and players and the surrounding environment. The academics is big. Exposure, nationally televised games. A team that wants to be the best. You know, to be the best you have to be on the best team. I want a team that has national championship goals, not just the division goals like a Big Ten title or an SEC title but bigger than that, like a national championship. That's how my high school team and my coach thinks and he's engraved that in me. That's what I want to look forward to at the next level.
Will JBB's decision play a part? (Laughs) Yeah, Juwann's been in my ear for these past few days, but it's all love. He understands that his situation is different from my situation. He's definitely doing his part trying to get me to join him up in Ann Arbor so I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this thing unfolds.
Jabrill was very receptive to all of my questions and seemed to answer them pretty openly. He did tell me that he plans on visiting Michigan again before his decision so I think that is another positive sign for the Wolverines moving forward. He has yet to lock in his visit to Stanford and wants to decide in June. As always, with a big time prospect like Peppers, a lot can happen in a 2 month span. Michigan is in good shape and if he visits Ann Arbor again, either before or after visiting Stanford, I think that would say a lot.