Michigan just had the deepest NFL draft class in program history. Now we’re looking back on how each of its 11 draftees ended up playing for the Wolverines.
Jabrill Peppers was the first piece in a movement that changed the landscape of Michigan recruiting.
The Wolverines are known for their recruitment in New Jersey, landing the state’s top prospect in three of the last four recruiting cycles. But that always wasn’t the case.
Peppers was the No. 3 high school player in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He was a 5-star prospect and the top prize in the Garden State.
Here’s a rewind on the recruitment of Peppers.
Michigan makes lasting impression on Jabrill Peppers from childhood roots
Peppers received his first Division I scholarship offer from South Carolina toward the end of his freshman year, in May 2011.
Peppers received his first visit from a Michigan staff member in May 2012, his sophomore year.
By his junior year, Peppers was seeing a new head coach nearly every week. During the fall, he received visits from Urban Meyer, David Shaw, Brian Kelly and Bill O’Brien.
Peppers named his co-leaders that fall, and Michigan wasn’t on his short list. Ohio State and Stanford were Peppers’ co-leaders following his junior season.
But then the school he grew up watching — Michigan — made a lasting impact.
It all changed for Peppers in April 2013. A two-day visit to Ann Arbor transitioned Michigan from trailing the Buckeyes and Cardinal to Peppers leaning toward the Wolverines — even after he visited Ohio State the following day.
After visiting LSU, and visits from LSU and Stanford coaches, Peppers was ready to make his announcement.
And he rapped his way into deciding on the Wolverines.
— Michigan Moments (@UofMMoments) November 12, 2016
Jabrill Peppers leaves Michigan early, gets drafted by Browns
Peppers didn’t have the career many Michigan fans envisioned.
He didn’t do much on offense. He took only 1 punt return back for a touchdown.
And he played only two full seasons.
In his prolific redshirt sophomore campaign, his last at Michigan, Peppers tallied 125 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and an interception.
He was decorated with many awards, including team MVP, the Paul Hornung Award as the country’s most versatile player and the Lott IMPACT Trophy Award. He also was a Heisman finalist.
Browns Mailbag: Where will Jabrill Peppers fit on Cleveland’s defense?
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 4, 2017
Ohio State fans despised Peppers, but many of them now will cheer for him. He was selected No. 25 overall in the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns.
A four-year recruitment of Peppers paid off for the Wolverines, who withstood a late push from Penn State and consistent efforts from Ohio State, Stanford and many others to land the standout.