Jabrill Peppers via 247Sports
Jabrill Peppers, aka "The Commissioner," has become the unofficial spokesperson for Michigan football recruiting, and he's going after the other big fish in the pond.
In a recent post on USA Today's High School Sports Social Hub, Peppers declared that he's bringing both 5-star running back Leonard Fournette and 5-star strong-side defensive end Da'Shawn Hand with him to Michigan.
The "Michigan Man" is strong with this one.
Here's his pitch to Fournette, per the blog:
First, with Leonard I'm trying to stress to him the importance of us having Derrick Green. Derrick is one of the best young running backs in the country and with him taking reps along with Leonard they could be the best 1-2 punch in the country.
The best part is that it would preserve him more because he's not gonna have to take on the whole load by himself. He'll get a blow and we won't lose productivity on the field. Getting those breaks will allow him to have a longer career than most running backs.
It's a win-win. Plus Leonard really understands how big a Michigan degree would be for him so I feel good about him.
Frankly, that's the perfect pitch.
Nowadays, running backs don't want to carry the ball 30 times a game, mainly because of the wear and tear it causes on their bodies. If the NFL is Fournette's eventual goal, splitting carries with a back like Derrick Green would be beneficial, especially behind what could be a dominant Michigan offensive line.
Fournette is the No. 1 running back, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, so he would represent a massive recruiting win for Peppers...er, Michigan.
What about Hand? Here are Peppers' thoughts, per the blog:
Then with DaShawn, I always tell him that we can make each other better. We can really feed off of each other because we're both playing on defense. We'll put the clamps on the receivers and he'll pressure the quarterback. It's the perfect complement with both of us on the field at the same time.
Hand is the No. 1 strong-side defensive end, according to the 247Sports composite, so he would be an equally big recruit for the Wolverines to land. He has exceptional speed and should be an elite pass-rusher.
Peppers is right, he can shut down the receivers and give Hand enough time to rush the passer. They could become a great defensive pairing.
It's worth noting that this is a pretty epic wish list for Peppers and Michigan. The Wolverines are in Hand's top three, along with Alabama and Florida (per 247Sports), but Fournette's 247Sports interest list only features LSU and Alabama.
Fournette went as far as saying that he believed Peppers made the right choice in Michigan, per Sullivan's report, so to count Michigan out in favor of the two SEC powerhouses would be utter foolishness.
For Hand, those odds are astronomically high. He already had an interest in Michigan before Peppers committed, and Jabrill did say this, per the blog post:
Do I think I can bring them with me? Well, I'm a really confident person so I feel pretty good about it. Definitely about DaShawn because of our relationship and the type of defense that we run. Leonard will be a little tougher, but they call me the commissioner so I'm gonna put it out there right here on my blog: I'm bringing both of them.
Peppers admitted himself that Fournette will be a tough sell, but it's quite obvious that the Wolverines have a good chance, especially with their star recruit recruiting for them.