ESPN has completed their ranking of the Top 100 college football players for 2016, and Michigan safety/linebacker Jabrill Peppers has cracked the Top 10.
Peppers is No. 9 on the list. The junior from Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey is one behind Iowa cornerback Desmond King. Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis has been ranked No. 19 and tight end Jake Butt came in at No. 54.
“Peppers might be the most versatile player in college football this season,” ESPN says. “Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said the only player whom he has coached with the same ability to learn on the fly as the sophomore linebacker was Andrew Luck. That football intelligence combined with freakish athleticism is a scary combination.”
Last season, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound athlete made 45 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and deflected 10 passes. Peppers ran 18 times for two touchdowns, had eight receptions, eight kick returns and 17 punt returns.
“Anything is accomplishable for Jabrill Peppers in the game of football,” Harbaugh said of the two-way player. “I think football players, professional football players, are the greatest athletes in the world and Jabrill is that kind of athlete.
“He can play just about anywhere on a football field and be effective. Put him in a corner. Put him in a safety. Put him in a linebacker. Ultimately, probably nickel is his best position. He can be a returner of the punts, returner of the kickoffs. He could be a gunner. He could be a hold-up guy.”
The Top 3 players on the ESPN’s list are Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, LSU running back Leonard Fournette and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.