Teams might want to think long and hard about punting to Michigan this season.
Head coach Brady Hoke announced Friday that much-hyped freshman Jabrill Peppers would be returning punts for the Wolverines this season, giving Michigan a dangerous scoring threat on special teams.
Peppers, one of the top recruits in the country, is a defensive back. But fans were wondering if his explosive talents could be used on special teams or even on the offensive side of the ball. Well, Hoke has found at least one way to get the ball in Peppers' hands.
There was talk earlier in the offseason of Peppers potentially playing on both sides of the ball. That might have been a bit premature. But at least there'll be one way — aside from a potential turnover on defense — that Peppers might find his way into the end zone.
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With all the hype surrounding the freshman, Michigan defensive lineman Frank Clark had to caution observers at Big Ten Media Day last month not to place too much potential on the kid just yet.
“He had that ability in high school. You never know what a person’s got coming to college," Clark said. "So I’m not going to boost anybody, but I want to see him be the best player he can be coming in and playing for Michigan. Everything that he had up until now, it doesn’t matter. All the high school accolades, it doesn’t matter. When you get to college, you have a new journey, a new career. High school doesn’t matter. High school’s easy for everybody at a point. It’s what you can do in college that matters now, for him at least.”
Something tells me most fans won't heed that warning when Peppers fields a punt for the first time.