Michigan's Jabrill Peppers will enter NFL Draft

By The Sports Xchange   |   Jan. 10, 2017 at 10:29 PM

Michigan all-purpose star Jabrill Peppers is declaring for the NFL draft, a decision he shared with Sports Illustrated on Tuesday.

Peppers, who had two years of college eligibility remaining, projects as a safety at the NFL level after playing outside linebacker this season. He also is a stellar kickoff and punt returner who occasionally lined up on offense for the Wolverines.

"It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do," Peppers told Sports Illustrated. "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."

Peppers finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting this season. He is rated as the No. 13 overall prospect despite evaluators not having enough film on him at either safety or linebacker.

For example, teams interested in Peppers as a safety didn't get much chance to assess his coverage skills in 2016.

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Peppers understands the quandary.

"All the questions will be answered," Peppers said. "And they're good questions. I think I'll be able to show that I can play one position well when I focus all my time and attention to it. I'm really excited to focus on my back pedal, flipping the hips and my coverage. I'm going to really hone in on that and iron out my weaknesses.

"I know my weaknesses and I know what I'm good at and need to improve on."

Peppers said he reached his decision over the weekend and broke the news to coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday.

"He thanked me and told me it was a pleasure to coach me," Peppers said. "I told him it was a pleasure to play for him. He molded me for the next level, that's how he operates. He runs his program like an NFL team. He's done more than enough to prepare me for this moment."

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