Michigan’s Brienne Minor, who recently won the NCAA tennis national championship, and do-everything football player Jabrill Peppers are the Michigan Athletes of the Year, the school announced Monday.
Both are eligible to be named Big Ten Conference Athletes of the Year.
Minor was unseeded and rolled through six matches to become the first Wolverine in program history to win a national championship, earning the 2017 singles title. She dropped only two sets along the way, capping off her championship with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 6 Belinda Woolcock of Florida — the 2017 NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player — in the title match.
The sophomore was 33-6 in singles this season and ranked No. 9. She earned All-America honors in singles for the second consecutive season, making her just the third Wolverine in school history with multiple All-America honors in singles.
Peppers, a unanimous All-American and a Heisman Trophy finalist voted by his teammates the Bo Schembechler Most Valuable Player after last season, played 15 different positions on offense, defense and special teams during the 2016 season.
He was a semifinalist or finalist for eight major national college awards. He won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile college football player. Peppers also became the first athlete in Big Ten history to win three major conference accolades in the same year when he was recognized as the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and the Rodgers-White Return Specialist of the Year.
Last season, Peppers was the third-leading tackler for the Wolverines, racking up a career-best 72 stops. He led UM in tackles for loss (16), averaging 1.3 per game, and helped U-M become the only defense in the nation to average more than three sacks (3.5) and nine tackles for loss (9.3) per game. Peppers also contributed four sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. In the return game, he had 21 punt returns for 310 total yards, averaging 14.8 yards per return with one touchdown, and he had 10 kickoff return opportunities, totaling 260 yards for a 26.0-yard average.
Peppers was selected in the first round, No. 25 overall, by the Cleveland Browns in April’s NFL draft.