Jabrill Peppers is the highest-rated player in Michigan's freshman class. (John T. Greilick / Detroit News)
Chicago -- Jabrill Peppers hasn’t played a down yet at Michigan, but he was a hot topic at the Big Ten Media Days on Monday. In fact, the first question coach Brady Hoke fielded from the podium regarded the highly-rated defensive back.
Hoke said the plan for Peppers hasn’t changed – he will work in at nickel and go from there.
“I think we’ve got to be careful about anointing any true freshmen starting their college career, but that’s where he’ll start,” Hoke said.
So when does Hoke believe Peppers can be “anointed”?
“Let’s anoint him when he does something, right? I mean, let’s see what he can do,” Hoke said.
Later, Hoke talked more about Peppers, describing him as a grounded and also saying the coaching staff is looking forward to seeing how he develops.
“Are we excited and glad he’s a Michigan Wolverine? No doubt about it,” Hoke said. “Are we excited about what we’ll be able to see in the next couple of weeks? No doubt about it. But I don’t know if it’s fair for an 18-year-old or 17-year-old -- even though those kids, because of their abilities. ... They all like that attention to some degree, (but) to say he’s going to do this and be that, I don’t think that’s fair.
“Am I going to be out front with him and shield him from the pressure he could put on himself? No question. He’s not going to talk to the media a lot, I can promise you that. I want the kid to be a student-athlete at Michigan.”
There has been some talk that Peppers could, at some point, play on offense, as well.
“We’ll entertain anything that can help Michigan win,” Hoke said. “But at the same time, let’s get him grounded in what he’s doing and what his primary job will be.”