Michigan Would Be Smart to Utilize 5-star ATH Jabrill Peppers on Offense

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJuly 10, 2013

Oct 8, 2011; Bronx, NY, USA; Jabrill Peppers of Don Bosco Prep during the first half against St. Edward at Jack Coffey Field at Fordham University. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan is reportedly talking to 5-star athlete commit Jabrill Peppers about playing offense as well as defense, and that's a great move by Brady Hoke and his staff.

Peppers has the makeup of a truly transcendent player, so getting him on the field as much as possible would only benefit the Wolverines.

According to a report from Chantel Jennings of ESPN.com, Peppers' coach, Chris Partridge, believes playing him both ways would be good for Michigan:

“He has the mental capacity to pick it all up and do it all well,” Partridge said. “Jabrill with the ball in his hands, that’s dangerous. If he can be a lockdown corner, play a little receiver once in a while. If he can blitz then turn around and get the ball in his hands five to eight times a game, I think it’s something that could be good for Michigan.” 

The Wolverines have already talked to Peppers about playing on offense, per Jennings:

And according to Peppers, Michigan might be thinking that he’d be useful all over the field, too. 

“I’m open to it,” Peppers said. “They’ve talked to me about it. They did say they want me to fully understand the defense in and out before they start moving me other places and making me learn other spots.” 

Peppers is the No. 1 athlete in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite ranking, though he should end up as a full-time cornerback for Michigan. He has terrific size at 6'1'', 205 pounds and the speed to stick vertically with any receiver in college football—according to 247Sports, he runs a 4.40-second 40-yard dash.

He'll play physical at the line of scrimmage and should be able to effectively jam and shut down receivers out of their routes. He'll be able to squeeze and control the edge as a run-defender, but also flip his hips, turn and make a play on the ball in the air.

Peppers has the potential to be one of the best cornerbacks in college football, so why waste his energy on offense?

As good as he is defensively, Peppers can be just as explosive on offense.

He's a power runner who can explode through the line and run over defenders. That said, his speed and agility make it hard for defenders to catch him, so Peppers can also be elusive and good in open space.

He could carry the ball out of the backfield and be a true threat, or even line up at receiver and use his speed and athleticism to make plays.

Either way, when he's on offense, defenses will have to pay attention. Peppers would be more than a decoy. He could be a legitimate first option.

Michigan has the commitment of a true athlete, and if the Wolverines can keep him committed until signing day, there will be plenty of ways to utilize his talents. 


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