UM’s Peppers named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Jabrill Peppers

Michigan’s versatile Jabrill Peppers played a number of positions and has won a number of individual Big Ten awards, including the conference’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year honor. Cornerback Jourdan Lewis was named the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year.

Peppers also was named the Big Ten’s Linebacker of the Year and Return Specialist of the Year. The defensive awards were announced Tuesday night. Last year he was the Freshman of the Year.

He is the first player to win all three awards since the Big Ten expanded its individual honors in 2011. And Lewis earned the award even after missing the first three games of the season with injury.

Peppers finished the season tied for second on the team in tackles with 72, including 16 tackles for loss and four sacks. He had an interception and forced a fumble. He also returned 21 punts for 310 yards, including one for a touchdown, and Peppers also returned 10 kicks for 260 yards.

This was a night for defensive awards, but on offense Peppers had 27 carries for 167 yards and three touchdowns. The Big Ten said he averaged 72 plays a game.

“I just wanted to be more aggressive,” Peppers said on BTN of his improved defensive play this year from last. “I missed a lot of tackles that I should have made last year. I made that a point of emphasis in the offseason. I just trusted myself more, I trusted the schemes and the guys around me and it definitely showed.”

Michigan is coming off a 30-27 double-overtime loss at Ohio State. Peppers said the Wolverines will rebound in their next game.

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“It’s always tough when you lose to those guys,” Peppers said on BTN. “We fought hard, but we came up at the short end of the stick. I felt as though we played good ball, but all in all, they made great plays when it mattered. I tip my hat those guys. Much respect to J.T. (Barrett), much respect to Curtis (Samuel). When it was time to make a play, they made it. You can only commend that. That was a double-overtime game and a lot of emotions go into that. It’s a learning experience. It’s nothing we can’t recover from and hope to get better.”

Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley were named first-team All-Big Ten, while Ryan Glasgow was second-team. Charlton was voted by the coaches and media, Wormley by the coaches, and Glasgow was voted second team by coaches and media.

Peppers was a first-team linebacker and Michigan’s Ben Gedeon was named to the second team, and Mike McCray was honorable mention. Channing Stribling and Delano Hill are second-team defensive backs, while safety Dymonte Thomas was honorable mention.

Kenny Allen was voted second-team All-Big Ten punter and honorable mention as a placekicker.

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst was named the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year, and Penn State coach James Franklin was named the Dave McClain Coach of the Year as voted by the media. Chryst and Franklin will face each other in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday.

For Michigan State, defensive lineman Malik McDowell was named second team (coaches and media) and linebacker Riley Bullough made third team (coaches and media).

Tyquan Lewis of Ohio State was named the Defensive Lineman of the Year.

The Big Ten will announce its offensive award winners on Wednesday night.

All-Big Ten Defense (Coaches)

First team: Chris Wormley, Taco Charlton, Jabrill Peppers, Jourdan Lewis

Second team: Ryan Glasgow, Delano Hill, Channing Stribling

Third team: Ben Gedeon

Honorable mention: Matthew Godin, Mike McCray, Dymonte Thomas

All-Big Ten Special Teams (Coaches)

First team: Jabrill Peppers (RS)

Second team: Kenny Allen (P)

Honorable mention: Kenny Allen (PK)

All-Big Ten Defense (Media)

First team: Taco Charlton, Jabrill Peppers, Jourdan Lewis

Second team: Chris Wormley, Ryan Glasgow, Ben Gedeon, Channing Stribling

Honorable mention: Delano Hill, Mike McCray, Dymonte Thomas

All-Big Ten Special Teams (Media)

First team: Jabrill Peppers (RS)

Second team: Kenny Allen (P)

Honorable mention: Kenny Allen (PK)