The Wolverine

November 2015

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 53 of 193

BY MICHAEL SPATH M ichigan's first five opponents kicked off or punted 62 times, with red- s h i r t f re s h m a n Jabrill Peppers af- forded only 15 op- portunities to return balls. On the 63rd kickoff/punt of the season, in week six, Northwestern directed the ball not towards Peppers but to redshirt junior Jehu Chesson, who, thanks to a bone-crushing block from Peppers (among nine other teammates), re- turned the ball 96 yards for a touch- down. The irony wasn't lost on Peppers — the moment the opponent kicks the ball away from him, the return team blocks perfectly, a Panama Ca- nal-sized hole opens up, and the final result is mayhem in the end zone. But Peppers couldn't help but smile when discussing Chesson's touchdown return, overjoyed by the success of a teammate and of his team. That is the type of player he is, fellow Wolverines say, relishing their moments equal to his own. "He's a guy that is always bounc- ing around the field, hyping guys up and celebrating their big plays," senior safety Jarrod Wilson said. "I don't know if I've ever met any- one that loves winning more than he does, and just loves being on the football field with his teammates more than he does." The hype for Peppers poured in during the preseason, the lofty com- parisons to Michigan's all-time great defensive backs growing so heavy that it became a running joke to call him the next "insert Hall of Famer here" among the media. Of course, in fall camp, the talk centered on whether Peppers would Jabrill Peppers Is Proving Himself A Special Talent While Playing In All Situations Te r rific Mr.

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