The comparisons went crazy when Jabrill Peppers stepped on campus. The former five-star recruit was hyped by some as the next Charles Woodson.

Peppers still has a long way to go for that to ever even become a debate, but he’s certainly off to a good start. Like Woodson, he’s far more than a defensive back. He returns punts, he returns kicks, he runs the wildcat, he catches passes and is impossible to keep off the field like Woodson was.

So naturally, when Woodson was back in Michigan for the Raiders’ game against the Lions this weekend, he was asked about what he thinks of the playmaking redshirt freshman.

“He’s a guy that has a lot of passion for the game, and I think that’s important not only for himself, but for the team,” Woodson said. “I think the way he plays, the way he approaches it, I think that it helps to motivate the players around him. So he’s of course a versatile guy. He can do it all, play defense, playing a ton of offense right now.

“And he’s young. He’s a redshirt freshman so he just really is getting his feet wet in the college ranks and he’s making his mark.”

Perhaps it’s only fitting that on Thursday, Peppers was named one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Trophy, which is given to the most versatile player in college football. He, Christian McCaffrey (Stanford), Adoree’ Jackson (USC) and Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss) will bid for the award.

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You can bet that if the Hornung was around when Woodson was playing, it would’ve been a runway winner. Peppers very easily could be the obvious choice this year. He does already have two B1G Freshman of the Week awards this year, the most recent of which earned him a shoutout from the Michigan legend.

The Heisman Trophy winner began his legendary career as the B1G Freshman of the Year. It’s only a matter of time before Peppers follows in those footsteps.