Land of 10
Breakfast of Victors

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Jabrill Peppers together again, Derrick Walton Jr. earns another accolade and more

Wake up University of Michigan fans and welcome to Breakfast of Victors, Land of 10’s daily morning briefing of Wolverines athletics. We’ll get your weekdays started with all the latest Michigan news, notes and insights. Our goal is to bring you closer to the Maize-and-Blue, your favorite school.

Today is Wednesday, March 8, 2017, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors…

Fresh off consecutive days working out for scouts at the NFL combine, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers was in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday night to accept the Paul Hornung Award. Peppers spent a lot of time at the combine answering questions about his college coach, Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh was in Louisville on Tuesday night talking about Peppers.

The award is given annually to honor college football’s most versatile and high-performing athlete. Peppers was a finalist last year when Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey won the award. McCaffrey was among the finalists for this year’s award.

“It’s a great honor, and well-deserved. You talk about versatility at a very high level, that’s Jabrill Peppers,” Harbaugh said. “We played him at safety, corner, linebacker, kick returner, punt returner, quarterback, running back, wide receiver, slot receiver, gunner on the punt team – he can play everywhere. He’s an amazing talent.”

Peppers is the second player Harbaugh has coached to win the Hornung Award. Owen Marecic won the inaugural award in 2010 after playing fullback and linebacker for Harbaugh at Stanford.

“They’re both deserving,” Harbaugh said. “They’re tremendous teammates and wonderful players.”

The question of what position Peppers is best suited to play in the NFL was on the mind of media and the league’s 32 teams at the combine. Harbaugh knows his answer.

“Safety. He’s a heck of a good safety,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got the ability to cover. He’s got the ability to rush, he’s got the ability to blitz and take guys and put them down to the ground. He’s a tremendous tackler. Probably the best tackler in college football.”

More accolades for Walton

A day after earning second-team All-Big Ten honors, Derrick Walton Jr. was named to the United States Basketball Writers Association All-District 5 team. The 10-member team included seven players from the Big Ten.

Also on the District 5 team is Illinois senior guard Malcolm Hill. Walton and Hill’s teams face each other in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday.

Breakfast links

  • Six Michigan wrestlers automatically qualified to the NCAA national meet with their performances last week at the Big Ten Championships. They got a seventh teammate joining them on Tuesday.
  • The Big Ten Tournament gets started Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney says this tournament is about more than sellouts.
  • LaVall Jordan spent six seasons as an assistant under John Beilein at Michigan. Jordan nearly led the Milwaukee Panthers to the most unlikely of NCAA Tournament bids in his first season as their head coach.