Louisville QB Lamar Jackson looks like the runaway favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. But when the question becomes which contender could chase him down, an increasing number of people are looking to Ann Arbor, Mich.
ESPN’s Joe Tessitore on Tuesday revealed the network’s updated “Heismanology” poll of ESPN’s Heisman voters, and the biggest change is Michigan star Jabrill Peppers jumping Clemson QB DeShaun Watson into second.
“We have been tracking Jabrill Peppers the last few weeks, calling him ‘the great divide candidate.’ Voters either put him first or second or leave him off the ballot entirely,” Tessitore said. “Not any longer with Peppers. He now appears on 79 percent of the ballots. So he takes the big jump to second.”
Tessitore then revealed another big plus for the Wolverines’ do-everything player:
“(Peppers is) also the only other player receiving first place support (besides Louisville’s Lamar Jackson).”
What could Peppers do to close the gap on Jackson? Peppers will always bring it on defense and likely special teams, but it’ll be interesting to watch if his offensive touches increase. He had 6 offensive touches against Michigan State, making 1 catch for minus-2 yards and rushing 5 times for 24 yards and a touchdown.
Peppers doesn’t have to become an offensive star with 10-plus touches, but if he shines during those chances, he could move closer to Jackson in the eyes of voters.
And if Peppers, already a Maxwell Award semifinalist, has a huge game against Ohio State, the race will get much more exciting than it is now.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 29, 2016
— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) October 30, 2016