He’s one of the leading Heisman contenders despite spending most of his time on defense. He’s also one of the best players in the nation.
ESPN ranked Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers No. 2 on its list of the Top 50 players in college football — only Louisville QB Lamar Jackson ranked higher by taking the top spot.
Here’s Dan Murphy on Peppers:
Not only can Michigan’s do-it-all redshirt sophomore affect a game from almost anywhere on the field, he can do it on almost any play. On offense, defense and special teams, the linebacker keeps opponents on edge by consistently being one spin move or quick burst from scoring.
But Peppers wasn’t far from the only Big Ten player to make the cut. Though Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett took a big fall from No. 5 to 25 in the updated list, there were still four Buckeyes players in the Top 50. Linebacker Raekwon McMillan was the second-highest ranked Big Ten player, up two spots to No. 14.
Three Big Ten players moved from unranked to onto the list, starting with Michigan DB Jourdan Lewis at 17th. Wisconsin LB T.J. Watt is now No. 36 and Penn State RB Saquon Barkley is No. 46.
For some perspective, only four other running backs are on the list besides Barkley. Now that’s elite company.
Here are the Big Ten players to make the list:
- No. 2 Michigan LB Jabrill Peppers (was No. 4)
- No. 12 Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillan (was No. 14)
- No. 17 Michigan DB Jourdan Lewis (was unranked)
- No. 20 Ohio State DB Malik Hooker (was No. 21)
- No. 24 Iowa DB Desmond King (was No. 15)
- No. 25 Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett (was No. 5)
- No. 32 Ohio State OL Pat Elflein (was No. 12)
- No. 36 Wisconsin LB T.J. Watt (previously unranked)
- No. 46 Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (previously unranked)