June 29, 2016
ANN ARBOR — Jabrill Peppers is playing a new position this season.
Well, sort of.
Michigan’s 6-foot-1, 208-pound redshirt sophomore will occupy space in the box as a hybrid linebacker in Don Brown’s new defensive scheme. He’ll also see some time at safety and nickel, of course. And continue to play offense.
And, he’ll be doing it with plenty of speed.
One doesn’t have to be a math expert to realize how quickly a player might be able to get to the quarterback with that sort of speed when he’s standing near the line of scrimmage. Obviously, that’s part of the plan this season for Michigan.
Elsewhere, Peppers was named a preseason first-team All-American as an “all-purpose player” by the Sporting News on Wednesday.
The 2015 Big Ten’s freshman of the year — and second-team All-American — is difficult to slot into one position for teams like this. So the Sporting News just puts him everywhere.
“Peppers is a throwback. He’s fast, physical and can play at least 10 different positions. It’s almost unheard of,” the site writes. “He’s moving to linebacker in new defensive coordinator Don Brown’s scheme, but he’ll move around the secondary and see time on offense. That versatility could fuel Michigan to a Big Ten championship.”
Michigan senior tight end Jake Butt also received preseason first-team All-American honor from the Sporting News.
Senior cornerback Jourdan Lewis was on the second team.