ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Before the season started, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said it was a “possibility” that star defensive back Jabrill Peppers could play on offense. And through one game, that still remains the case.
However, Peppers, who finished with eight tackles and two tackles for loss in U-M’s week one 24-17 loss at Utah, says he would indeed play on offense -- if asked.
“It just depends on how things go,” Peppers said. “… I have never been the type of guy to want to impede. If they need me to help in someway, then I will be more than happy to do it. Whether it’s receiver, running back, quarterback, it doesn’t matter. As far as that goes, I am just plying it by ear. When they call my number, I’m going to be ready.”
How could Peppers impede exactly? After all, he was a two-way threat at Paramus Catholic (N.J.), staring at running back, wide receiver and defensive back. So he does know how to play with a ball in his hand. Well, Peppers sees it differently, pointing out U-M’s players they already have on offense as valuable assets and not wanting to take away their playing time.
“We have a lot of real good guys on the offensive side of the ball,” Peppers said, naming pretty much U-M’s whole wide receiving core. “They do a real good job in preparation as far as molding their skill-set. So I wouldn’t just want to come over and say ‘Hey, coach can I play some offense? Can I get some slot reps?’ And take some reps away from a guy who will see most of his time there and that’s his primary position.
“But if they called my number, I would be ready.”
That being said, Peppers admits there would be some ‘timing” issues before he even considered playing on the offensive side of the ball.
“Timing is one of the biggest things I learned in college. Everything is all on timing,” Peppers said. “So I guess I would just need a week to fit into the game plan.”
Michigan (0-1) next plays host to Oregon State (1-0) this Saturday at noon ET.