Jabrill Peppers is heading to New York as Heisman Trophy finalist, as he should
Jabrill Peppers’ regular season might not have ended the way he hoped it would, but he’ll have a chance to put a different kind of exclamation point on his career.
The Michigan do-it-all specialist will indeed be going to New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. The award winner will be announced on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.
Peppers was one of five finalists announced on Monday night:
- Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
- Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
- Deshaun Watson, Clemson
- Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Jackson is the overwhelming favorite to win the award, despite the fact that the Cardinals struggled down the stretch.
Peppers is the only defensive player among the nominees. He’s the first Michigan player to be nominated for the award since Chris Perry in 2003. No Michigan player has won the award since Charles Woodson in 1997.
The redshirt sophomore already made history by becoming the first B1G player to win three individual postseason awards. He took home the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year.
The versatile linebacker/return specialist recorded a career-best 72 tackles this season, including a team-best 16 tackles for loss, four sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. He played a total of 15 different positions in 2016.
On top of that, he leads the Big Ten and is fourth nationally with a 14.8-yard average per punt return. He had 21 punt returns for 310 yards and one touchdown and has 10 kickoff returns for 260 yards. Offensively, Peppers had 27 carries for 167 yards and three touchdowns and has two receptions.
Peppers hasn’t announced his plans yet, but many are assuming he’ll declare early for the NFL draft as a likely first-round pick.
Before he does that, Peppers might have some more hardware to rack up.