BRADENTON, Fla. -- Michigan's “Mr. Everything” star defender Jabrill Peppers is at it again this spring.
The multi-dimensional athlete is taking on yet another position -- SAM linebacker -- and has earned raved reviews from Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh himself, who spoke to the media after the Wolverines fourth and final practice at IMG Academy Friday evening.
“He plays at an athletic level that is so very, very high and we saw what he could do last year in terms of picking up a new position,” Harbaugh said of Peppers. “It’s seamless for him. He’s very intelligent. He’s so competitive. He’s got it all.”
Peppers, of course, played safety, cornerback, return man, running back, wide receiver and even quarterback as a redshirt freshman in 2015, earning Big Ten Freshman of the year honors and was named an All-Big Ten First-Teamer by both the coaches and media alike.
“Athletic ability and awareness, you would say those are two most important things after sure competitiveness. He’s got all of those three things at the highest levels. I’m excited to where it is going to go,” Harbaugh said.
Peppers, who finished last season with 45 tackles and 10 pass break ups, will now being playing in the box and closer to line of scrimmage in first year defensive coordinator Don Brown’s system.
“Don has got the eye and knows his system, and knows the kind of player he is looking for there. I think it’s a great fit,” Harbaugh said. “That (SAM linebacker) position does so many things. It covers. It man covers. It’s in zone. It’s in run fits. It’s in blitz tempo. It’s going to be exciting to see al the different places Jabrill can line up.”
With Peppers learning a new position, Harbaugh wouldn’t say for sure if he would be playing much offense -- if at all -- this spring.
“We’ll see, we’ll see,” Harbaugh said. “One thing we know, he can pick it up quick. If we make the decision to go that way, everything is possibility. It’s an exciting thing when you play an opponent and they understand everything is a possibility as well.”
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Michigan plays its annual spring game on Friday evening April 1.