UA Game: Biggins Gives U-M Duo High Marks

The praise for Jabrill Peppers' showing during practices leading up to the Under Armour all American game continue to pour in, and National Recruiting analyst Greg Biggins is one of the latest to follow suit. He also weighed in on Wilton Speight's showing and has been extremely impressed by the talented signal caller's growth.

Sam Webb:  Here with national recruiting analyst, Greg Biggins.  So Greg, let us start off first talking about a guy I know you’ve watched closely over the years.  I am curious what your thoughts are on Wilton Speight and how he has performed thus far this week. 

Greg Biggins:  “I saw him a lot more yesterday than today.  I did not see him as much today.  I think he is doing well.  He is real calm in the pocket.  I like that about him.  I noticed a lot of development over the last few years, just in terms of his mechanics.  Working with Steve Clarkson, who we both know pretty well, arm good enough, but for a big guy, he really moves.  He does not break any 40 yard dash records but he makes that first guy miss, is all you want your quarterback to do.  He moves around really well.  I like the presence about him.  He throws the ball pretty well, on time, touch accurate.  Overall I like Wilton.  I think he has had a pretty good week so far.” 

Sam Webb:  I think it is always curious and interesting to talk to guys when they first see a guy and do not have a glowing opinion of him and to see the kind of metamorphosis.  Take us back to your first experience of Wilton Speight and where he was so that we can kind of get a grasp on the magnitude of his growth. 

Greg Biggins:  “I saw him the first time two to three years ago.  At that time, I think we all thought he was a senior.  I think he had the reclassification.  At the time,  I was at one of Steve’s camps and I was thinking, okay this guy is kind of tall, gawky, does not really look the par, kind of really over the head release.  I thought he is a nice enough guy, maybe he will go to lower level MAC school if he is lucky kind of a thing.  Then fast forward and Steve is kind of talking to me and saying Michigan is going to offer Wilton.  I go, Michigan Wolverines?  Or there is another Michigan junior college that I do not know about?  I saw him again last year at the camp and he was incredible.  It was a night and day difference in terms of just being comfortable as a quarterback.  In confidence, any sport is huge and he was so confident.  Wilton is a very confident kid to begin with.  He is very comfortable in his own skin.  I mean that in a good way.  Just being able to drop, throw the ball on time, and know where he is going with the ball and all that, mechanically tightening up his release, arm is a little more alive.  For me arm strength is going to be low overrated in a quarterback.  I think if you get the ball out on time to the right guy, that is better.  He does not have a huge arm but it is strong enough.  He can make the deep throws, he can makes the outs, he can do all of those things.  But just from three years ago to today, it is like it is a different sport he is playing.” 

Sam Webb:  You mentioned something earlier.  You said he is not going to break 40 yard dash records but extending plays, which I think is what you are eluding to and that is something that Steve Clarkson talked about...  I look at guys like Ben Roethlisberger, he extends plays.  He is not a scrambler like a Johnny Manziel but extending play so that he can get the ball out.  That seems to be what you are kind of saying about Wilt. 

Greg Biggins:  “The funny thing is, I have seen guys that can run 4.4s and 4.5s but when they get flushed, heads down, they will look nothing but to run.  Wilton has his head up looking down the field.  He is extending plays but he is also looking to make a play with his arm.  He is not just all of a sudden, you see that chaos, and you just kind of panic and freak out and just run into your own linemen because you don’t know where you are going with the football or you just don’t have a clue what you are doing.  I think Wilton, he is calm under pressure.  That is just kind of his personality.  He can extend the play.  It is funny, Ben Roethlisberger, that is the guy who Steve wants to compare Wilton to.” 

Sam Webb:  That is why I mentioned it.  That’s who Steve compared (him to)….

Greg Biggins:  “No one ever compares a guy to a slappy, right? (Laughter)  I always kind of say that everyone has to be compared to the next Joe Montana.  If you are short, you are Drew Brees.  If you are tall and you can move, you are Ben Roethlisberger.  So, I am going to hold off on that, hold off a little bit on the Ben Roethlisberger thing but I do like him.  He is smart.  I think Wilton is a really smart kid and I think he is going to be able to go into an offense and pick it up a lot quicker than a lot of other quarterbacks.  I am hopeful because I like him as a person.  I am hoping he goes in there and does some good things.” 

Sam Webb:  One of his passes that was picked off today was picked off by Jabrill Peppers.  Now it should be noted, because Wilton wanted to make sure (people know) that he got Jabrill first with a back shoulder throw that he completed. Then Jabrill came back and picked him off.  So what did you think of Jabrill Peppers?  

Greg Biggins:  “I think I mistakenly tweeted Julius Peppers.  Honestly, he looks like a stinkin’ NFL guy out there, Jabrill, referring to him.  I had never seen him before until this week.  There are some guys out here, whether it be Jabrill or Leonard Fournette, Cam Robinson, they have NFL bodies right now.  If went to an NFL team, you would not think Peppers was a high school kid.  His legs, the calves, I am not trying to sound all weird.  I am very secure in my masculinity (laughter) but just looking at him, that is a full grown man already and he is tough and he is physical.  He plays to run.  He obviously has the speed to play the pass.  He is an instant impact guy wherever he goes.  I cannot wait to watch him play.” 

Sam Webb:  When you look at him, he is playing corner out here.  One of the coaches said I see him as a safety.  He talked about possibly being a nickel.  Where do you kind of project him at the next level? 

Greg Biggins:  “Obviously, I think any kid wants to play corner. That is the highest value.  If you are looking at the highest level – NFL; who gets drafted higher, your corner or your safety?  Your corner always gets that higher draft.  For me, I think he has the athletic ability to play corner.  But he is so big and physical, I think you can almost impact a game playing center field, if you have a great corner, you can throw away from him, like you just mentioned.  But still, if you have a guy who can shut down one side of the field that is kind of important too, right?  So, I mean, I think it depends.  If he continues to physically develop.  I mean right now he is thick.  He is a big kid.  When he gets to college, is he going to add another 5-10 pounds just by being in that weight program and that nutrition, and get all that.  If he keeping getting it and he ends up being 215-220, can you see a corner, I don’t know.  We will have to wait and see.  The good thing is he could easily play either spot.  So, there is no downside to him at all.”

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