|Photo: Patrick Barron|
Well, we figured this was probably coming. And now it is official. Jabrill is going pro.
“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” Peppers said. “I’m choosing between cementing my legacy as a college player and starting my pro legacy. It’s something you dream of when you were a kid. I was torn between the two.”
The impact this young man had on the Michigan program the last two years is almost immeasurable. He played almost every skill position and did it better than guys who only played one. He’s a once-in-a-generation type of football talent. I have no doubt he’ll be a high draft pick and make an immediate impact on whichever NFL roster he ends up on next year.
Along with thanking Harbaugh, Peppers went out of his way to thank former Michigan coach Brady Hoke and his staff for recruiting him there. He also mentioned the tough love of strength coach Kevin Tolbert, the guidance of Director of Athletic Counseling Greg Harden and the support of former high school coach and current Michigan assistant Chris Partridge. He also mentioned the support of his teammates, professors and Michigan fans. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” he said. “Not just because I love this place and the guys around me and the fans and the school. I feel like I was cheated out of the college experience getting hurt my freshman year. I really only played two years for the university that I love.”
The impact of his departure on Michigan is significant. His football instincts and raw ability can not be replaced by anyone else on the depth chart.
We felt it against Florida State in the Orange Bowl and will likely feel it at times next year. On the defensive side, he just made plays. He was disruptive all over the field. It’s hard to say how many points he was worth in each game, but I suspect it was more than just a field goal.
It goes without saying he will be missed. Jabrill is a gifted player and a impressive young man. A Michigan Man.