The Michigan Wolverines are entering a brand new era of football under head coach Jim Harbaugh this season, and he is ready to turn the program around. It has been awhile since they have been viewed as legitimate contenders in the Big Ten, but that could start to change in the near future. Jabrill Peppers is without question one of the best players on the Wolverines’ roster, and he is willing to play on both sides of the football in 2015 as well.
He didn’t end up playing a lot as a freshman last season, but that will change this year. Peppers was a five-star defensive back coming out of high school, and the Wolverines were able to come away with a huge commitment from him. Michigan will need him to step up defensively, but Peppers made it clear he’d like to play offense as well.
“Offense is definitely something I’m comfortable with. I’d even like to think I’m a better offensive player, but I like defense a lot more and I think I’m just as good on defense,” Peppers said. “I work on my craft, every day, to be well rounded to try to contribute to the team as best as I can. At the end of the day, whatever guy we have out there, we’re all capable. We all work just as hard to achieve the ultimate goal, which is to win.”
Harbaugh will have some decisions to make, although this may not be one of them. Peppers is going to need to focus on being one of the defensive leaders for the Wolverines, and they can’t risk him getting hurt offensively and leaving a hole in their defense.
Peppers hasn’t had the type of hype surrounding him heading into his sophomore season that he had last year, and that has to do with the lack of production that he showed as a freshman.
One thing that fans should keep in mind heading into the 2015 season, is that Harbaugh is a much better motivator and understands how to use his players to the best of their abilities. Perhaps that is what Peppers needs to take the next step and live up to the star potential that was given to him during the recruiting process. He certainly has the physical ability to become something special, and fans will see that this year.
There is a very good chance that the Wolverines will use Peppers more on special teams, which could give him a chance to make an even bigger impact on the team. A full-time role on offense doesn’t seem likely, however, although Harbaugh has made some very interesting moves in his coaching career.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Patrick Record | The Ann Arbor News