Which Team in Jabrill Peppers' Top 5 Is Best Fit for the 2014 5-Star ATH?

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 13, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

5-star cornerback/athlete Jabrill Peppers projects to be a superstar at the college level, and he's already narrowed down his interest list to five very lucky schools.

According to Adam Friedman of Rivals.com, Peppers is ready to focus on just a few schools:

With a ton of programs coming after him, Peppers wanted to make some cuts so that he could focus on a smaller list of schools.

"Stanford and Ohio State are battling for number one right now," he said. "Then comes Michigan followed by Notre Dame and Alabama. I'm ready to declare those schools as my top five."

It's an impressive list and it's specifically cool to see Stanford making an impression with one of the nation's top 2014 recruits.

Simply put, Peppers has the intangibles to be elite at the college level. 

He checks in at 6'1'', 205 pounds and is ranked as the No. 1 ranked athlete in the 2014 class according to the 247Sports Composite. He can play cornerback or running back, though his greatest impact will likely be as a corner at the college level.

Which of these five marquee programs would be the best fit for Peppers?

Frankly, as far as football is concerned, Peppers could go to any of these five schools and make a huge impact on the field. At his size and with his athleticism, he has the potential to be a shutdown corner.

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He would fit the Alabama cornerback mold perfectly, and I can see him doing great things on the Crimson Tide's defense. That said, he could also choose to go to Stanford, OSU, Notre Dame or Michigan and he'd still be a transcendent secondary player for all of those programs.

The football fit is there, so the deciding factor could end up being personal fit. 

He talked a lot about the job that the Ohio State and Stanford coaches have done connecting with him so far, but he also had this to say about Michigan, per Friedman's report:

"I grew up a Michigan fan," he said. "I always liked the tradition from Mario Manningham to Mike Hart and all of those guys. The only thing that hurts Michigan at the moment is the coaching stability. I heard Coach Hoke has a lot of offers from the NFL on the table. I know I'm not going to go to a college because of a coach but if a head coach leaves they go into a whole new system and there is a new group of guys I would have to get used to and it just makes the process much more difficult."

I'm not sure what dirt sheets Peppers is reading, but a quick look around Google turns up no legitimate reason to believe that Hoke will be going to the NFL any time soon. Logically it doesn't make sense, and even looking at the NFL as an option would completely fly in the face of Hoke's "Michigan Man" image.

If that's really Peppers' only concern in regards to Michigan, I'm sure the Wolverines can clear that up very quickly. 

Logistically, Michigan would make sense for the elite cornerback. He'd have a chance to play for one of the best defensive minds in college football—Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison—and he would even fit the pro-style offense as a running back if the Wolverines were inclined to give him reps in the backfield.

Michigan hasn't had a true shutdown corner that could play on an island for a while now. Peppers would also have a chance to try to follow in the footsteps of a former Michigan player that was very good on both sides of the ball, but was renowned for his abilities as a defender (See: Charles Woodson).

He talked about liking the tradition, and Woodson left quite a tradition.

There's also the fact that Hoke has the Wolverines poised to be a contender in the next few seasons, and Peppers could end up being a huge part of a very good Michigan program.

Overall, Michigan could end up being the best fit, especially since he grew up a Wolverine fan.

Peppers is talented enough to be a star wherever he chooses to play football. If it came down to personal preference, which I believe it will, there's a good chance we'll see him running onto the field at the Big House in 2014.

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