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Michigan Media Day: Jabrill Peppers impresses Greg Mattison, shrugs off attention

Surely the five-star Jabrill Peppers will bring his hype that surrounded him in high school to Michigan and cause a distraction, right? Wrong. According to Greg Mattison, he has done just the opposite.


If the Michigan coaching staff would allow it, Jabrill Peppers could play any position he wanted because he's that talented.

However, the staff would prefer if he was good at one thing during his collegiate career first. That one thing, however, appears to be the nickel back position. The former five-star received a lot of attention and hype coming out of high school. After a week on campus, there's no superstar treatment from the coaching staff.

He's just another player on the defense according to defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.

"I haven't had to say a thing to him about it," admitted Mattison. "We coach him really, really hard. There's no pampering, you're just another guy on our defense."

Surely, with a player that is being hailed as the next Charles Woodson will bring plenty of attention to himself. According to Mattison, that is furthest from their thoughts.

"I don't even notice the attention," said Mattison. "To be honest with you, when he's in the meetings I wouldn't even notice he's there because he's been coached with everybody else."

With Peppers staying primarily at nickel this season, it is a position that needs a playmaker. For Mattison, they're not throwing Peppers out there to struggle, he believes there is a place where the coaching staff can utilize the talents that the five-star can bring to the program.

"I expect him to play up to his ability ability and we wouldn't have him in there if we didn't feel he could help us out," Mattison said. "He keeps being in there for a period of time, everybody in this defense has done that same thing. He is no different than what Ray Taylor has done, all of them are expected to have it up a whole notch and they're showing that at times."

The most important item that Mattison stresses about the 6-1, 202 pound defensive back is his maturity as a freshman. There is no attention-seeking with Peppers, everything is strictly business.

"Obviously with what success he had at his high school, he'll get attention but he's been very mature about it," Mattison said. "He understands it's about Michigan now. When you're at Michigan, you're just one of the team and your responsibility is what the team asks of you."

"That's what he's done."

For more news and notes on Michigan Football, follow Joshua Henschke on Twitter: @JoshuaHenschke.