Charles Woodson had stats in 1997 that were some of the most impressive in Michigan football history. I was fortunate enough, thanks to my grandpa with season tickets for over 20 years, to attend each of the games this season in Ann Arbor as a 14 year old diehard fan. Just to refresh your memory, here are some of the them from his Heisman Trophy winning season.
11 rec., 231 yards, 21 yard ave., 2 TDs
3 rushes, 15 yards, 5 yard ave., 1 TD
33 returns, /283 yards, 1 TD
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Jim Thorpe Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year, Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Award
Question: Does Jabrill Peppers deserve the hype? Can he be the next Michigan player to get a Heisman Trophy presentation invitation?
Earlier this week, he was put on the preseason watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy with 41 other defensive players. He also has been in the conversation as a preseason Heisman Trophy finalist. Some NFL analysts have recognized him as a potential top 10 draft pick with Jordan Lewis.
With Don Brown as the new Defensive Coordinator, we may see Peppers used in multiple positions to break up pass plays, create negative yard situations on run plays, and times when he gets to to the quarterback.
He gave us a preview of what he’s capable of on punt returns and the offense last season. He was used as a decoy in offensive plays making the opponents coaching staff scratch their heads because you need to know where he is at all times. I expect to see him used in all phases of the game, creating touchdown and big play opportunities.
I ran poll on Twitter about how many touchdowns we will see from Peppers in 2016. The final count is 38% predicting five to seven with 20% over eight.
Poll: Jabrill Peppers scores how many touchdowns for Michigan in the 2016 season?
— David Noe (@DavidRNoe) May 19, 2016
If Peppers gets regular playing time at all three areas on the field, remains healthy, and continues to improve through the season, we may see something very special in 2016.
Having both of the biggest games away from Ann Arbor, his level of play may impact the score with the chance of creatinf memorable moments we look back on years from know. Michigan fans who remember the greatness of Woodson have been waiting, waiting not only for a team and season like 1997, but also an explosive and talented player like him.
Will Jabrill Peppers live up to the hype?
Well…it’s only May and we will have to wait another 105 days and 15 Saturday’s before the season starts to find out.
Dear September 3, please come soon!
Sincerely, Michigan fans