The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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30 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2016 No. 1 — Jabrill Peppers, LB/DB Jim Harbaugh doesn't engage in coachspeak when it comes to Peppers. There's no need. It would be like trying to throw a tarp over a night game at Michigan Stadium to block out the brightness. "As a kick returner, he's at the highest level," Harbaugh said. "As a punt returner, he's at the highest level. If we put him on our of- fense, I think he would be our best slot receiver. "If you put him at running back, he would give all of our run- ning backs a run for their money to be the best running back. He's our best wildcat quarterback. He might be our best guy to run a reverse, to run a fly sweep." The redshirt sophomore will earn most of his helmet stickers on defense, though, where he's scarily instinctive. "I've seen very few athletes with the ability to just show it to him on a whiteboard, maybe show him a clip of what you want him to do, and then for him to go right out to the practice field and do it better than anybody else on the team or better than you thought he could do it," Harbaugh said. "He's one of those rare guys. [Indianapolis Colts quarterback] Andrew Luck was that kind of athlete and had that kind of mind. You just had to tell him and he could do it. You told him sometimes midway through practice with Andrew, and he would do it and do it right." Make no mistake, Harbaugh insisted — Peppers is special. "I've always thought of NFL players as the greatest athletes in the world," Harbaugh said. "I truly believe that, having watched them from very close up. "I truly believe Jabrill Peppers is in that [realm of ] opportunity, to be one of the greatest athletes in the world. Combined with the passion he has for the game, the seriousness to get better, the work ethic and ultimately the competitiveness that he has … he has a fire." — John Borton Photo by Per Kjeldsen

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