Paramus Catholic has been a major checkpoint for some of the nation’s top programs in recent days. Multiple coaches have made their way to the Garden State power in hopes of keeping pace in the respective recruitments of Jabrill Peppers and Juwan Bushell-Beatty. The significance of any spring contact is magnified in Bushell-Beatty’s case since a decision appears to be on the horizon.
“Juwan (Bushell-Beatty) does not want to go into his senior year still wondering,” Paramus headman, Chris Partridge said. “He wants to make a decision before (then) no matter what. That was his (thing) all along. What we are trying to figure out is if he wants to visit somewhere else or if he just wants to make a decision and kind of work through it. I have his mom contacting the Michigan guys and talking to them and getting a feel there and seeing where we want to go. I think Juwan is going to make a decision in the next month or two I would guess.”
That would seem to bode well for the Maize & Blue, but it’s still possible that other contenders could stand in the way. The question is who poses the biggest threat?
“He likes Wisconsin a lot,” reported Partridge. “He has not visited there, but I know he likes them. They are coming in (for a visit). He liked Boston College, but I think Michigan stood out ahead of them. He has so much going on that in terms of visit wise, Michigan is #1. With recruiting, I don’t know if he is going to take another visit even. If he does take another visit he is going to see what that school is. I know Florida was the first to offer him. He is always kind of considering them. It is something that we have to work through over the next couple of weeks with Juwan.”
For Peppers’ the likelihood of further visits is much higher. The five-star talent has long mentioned his plan to take a summer trip to Stanford before quite possibly taking some or all of his official visits. However, there may be notable change to his vetting process. Now weeks removed from a memorable visit to Michigan, the glow still hasn’t worn off. So impressive was the trip that it may now be the standard by which all others are compared.
“Jabrill is a feel guy,” Partidge explained. “He’s a personality guy. Jabrill gets along with the football team and he is a great teammate and everyone loves him, but he also gets along with a guy on the chess club in the school or the guy in the band. He is a guy who has a positivity about him. He is just so a genuine good person that he has to get along with everybody. You have to feel good about the people who go the school as well as the people on the team… just the whole type of atmosphere thing. He said that about Michigan. He said, ‘wow what I really liked the whole thing. I like everything they got going on not just the football but the school, the academic people, the kids that he met that didn’t play football. The way they have relationship with the regular kids. The way the school is behind it.’ I know that was important to him. He felt comfortable with all the coaches, which is important to him too.”
Needless to say the Wolverines are in very strong position. However, proclaiming them Peppers’ leader is a leap Partidge suggest recruiting followers not take.
“Jabrill is a little different because Jabrill’s #1 school has always been Stanford,” Partidge stated. “Jabrill is a high academic kid. He’s always been focused on academics and he obviously wants to play at the highest level of football. He wants to be the best defensive football player in the country. When he is in college and he has got to find a place that balances both. Since Stanford has always been #1 and he has not been there… again he is going to Stanford in July… it is hard to say Michigan is #1 now. Michigan is 1a or 1b with Stanford at this time. He likes them both. He has got to go and see what Stanford has to offer. He just has not seen it. He has to be fair. He really did get a good feel (for Michigan). There are no negatives about Michigan, so that’s the good thing. He is going to see Stanford… visit and get a feel there. Then he has to compare those two and see where it lies.”
Could Peppers’ decision timetable be moved up in the aftermath of that visit? A twitter post he made recently certainly suggests that’s certainly possible, but his head coach warned against prematurely declaring his star pupil’s recruitment a two-team race.
“I think everyone is still in contention,” said Paramus’ headman. “I don’t think he dropped anyone off. He is going (take visits) to get a better feel for some schools. I think he is still going to listen to the guys who are in his top five, but Jabrill has shut off everyone else. He has not really talked to anyone else outside of it. He wants to narrow his focus in. He liked the visit to LSU. They are good guys. They’re a good program. I think he felt more comfortable at Michigan so I think that is why it is kind of ahead of the other ones.”
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on Peppers ad Bushell-Beatty in the days and weeks to come.