December 7th, 2016 at 2:09 PM ^

Absolutely agree.  He is the most "outstanding" player.  Others have nearly replicated Jackson ( who may not be the best QB performance this year) but no one has come close to replicating Peppers' performance.

Perkis-Size Me

December 7th, 2016 at 2:17 PM ^

Not getting my hopes up. There's a reason that so few defensive players even enter the conversation. Much less win the damn thing. But he does have a shot considering that Jackson fell off a cliff the last few weeks. 

If you're going to go by pure stats, then yeah, Watson or Jackson are probably taking home the hardware. But no one in the country affected the game plan as much as Peppers did. He lined up absolutely everywhere that wasn't a trench position, and he was a threat to take the ball to the end zone every time he touched it. 

In the end, though, I expect to see Watson bring it home, because he's on a playoff team. 

1 percent

December 7th, 2016 at 4:48 PM ^

Agree completely.

Also not out of the realm of possibility that the Eagles lose out and that pick becomes a 5-6 overall instead of the #10 it is now.

Might be perfect setup for Garrett and a top QB (OR Peppers!!!)*

* I don't even want to get my mind to start thinking Garrett and Peppers on the same team ... And Jamie Collins


December 7th, 2016 at 2:26 PM ^

This is what has been lost about how the Heisman used to be. It used to go to the most important player (with great stats mind you) on their team. Having a winning record kind of mattered then too, but not as much as now (imo). The importance factor of Peppers is bar none in many facets of the game. No one else compares to that. #PepperedHeisman


December 7th, 2016 at 2:30 PM ^

Lamar Jackson is a 4 or 5 thousand bet to win 100 favorite on the betting lines.

Its already over. Jackson won.

I'm not trying to be a hater. I think we focus far too much on quarterback because the people that vote aren't critical thinkers.

I'm just saying that its a done deal. I'm glad Peppers will represent Michigan in New York.


December 7th, 2016 at 2:28 PM ^

I wish there was more actual analysis in the national media about how Peppers disrupts offenses and what his role in our defense actually is, how it opens up the playbook for Don Brown and limits the playbook for opposing OCs. Shutting down screens and edge runs, what it allows us to do with tight man to man coverage, etc. 
This article touces on it a bit, but usually it's just "OMG so many positions!" without going into much detail. Which then leads to people who only look at box scores saying, "well sure he plays lots of positions, but he doesn't play any of them great." Which is nonsense obviously.
(not that I expect those type of people to actually read a more in depth analysis... but it would be nice) 


December 7th, 2016 at 2:33 PM ^

While I don't think he has a chance, I do think he does deserve to be in NYC. His play, what he allowed the defense to do - change coverages without changing personnel or formation - is something literally (yes, literally!) nobody else could do, or ever has done. His field position on punts... Those are things most people don't understand. I know that Greg McElroy (who has a vote, somehow), absolutely hates that Peppers was even invited, let alone could win it. He also says that Woodson shouldn't have been in the same discussion as Manning. QBs gonna QB, I guess. But that is the opposition Pep has for this award. Something he has every bit as good a claim on as anyone else. This year is wide open...

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December 7th, 2016 at 3:04 PM ^

He writes:

"Peppers' numbers are dwarfed by those compiled by the Heisman frontrunner, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson"

Oh really?  How many tackles, sacks, TFL, interceptions, and return yards does Lamar Jackson have?

I know he meant to imply "offensive numbers" (numbers that heisman voters usually look at).

I'm just saying that hypothetically if I were writing an article about why a defensive player deserves the heisman, it would have a rebuke of voters always assuming offensive stats are more important than defensive stats rather than making that same assumption.

Lamar jackson has peers.  Peppers does not. 

My name ... is Tim

December 7th, 2016 at 3:18 PM ^

In the writer's defense, Peppers' defensive stats and return stats are, even comparatively, not on par with Lamar Jackson's offensive numbers - which are rarely seen. I love Jabrill and think he is deserving of making the final (and that an argument can be made that he deserves to win it), but trying to compare Lamar Jackson's 51 total touchdowns, 3000+ passing yards and 1500+ rushing yards with Peppers' solid, yet unspectacular defensive stats is a losing argument every time.


December 7th, 2016 at 3:38 PM ^

It's a fair point that no single one of Peppers' stats is by itself world-shattering, but I would say that his defensive stats are pretty fantastic, and the fact that he adds 750 yards of offense on top of fantastic defensive stats..... on the whole, I would say he does have spectacular numbers.


December 7th, 2016 at 3:11 PM ^

Just happy to see him get any amount of recognition, I think most people are aware the Heisman is now an offensive award. It was nice to see him win the Hornung (amongst others), they seem to be accurately evaluating his performance for other awards


December 7th, 2016 at 6:28 PM ^

Exactly how would you implement an objective test to determine that? Stats, while being a somewhat skewed measurement with "padding/garbage time" and "level of competition" nuances, is likely the only feasible way to objectively award the "most outstanding player." What it appears that you are suggesting, is some variation of an "eye test", in which voters would just simply "know" who the best college football player is.

Jabrill is an exceptional athlete, perhaps only rivaled by a select few throughout the country. But that alone doesn't simply make him the best college football player.

UofM Die Hard …

December 9th, 2016 at 11:50 AM ^

while it would be hard to implement somethign like that, the "eye test" has to be apart of it if you get to vote for the heisman. 


If you are on that board and the finalists are named, i feel it should be a requirement to watch as much tape as the committee can to factor in an eye test. 


December 7th, 2016 at 3:52 PM ^

to go to the BEST college football player. Look no further then Peppers to fit the bill. I think that was the reason Woodson won it in 97 and why Peppers should win this year.

Bando Calrissian

December 7th, 2016 at 3:57 PM ^

Gosh. I just don't understand this.

Peppers is a great football player who had a good season on a great team.

Woodson was a once-in-a-lifetime talent who turned the game to his will, coming up in the biggest moments with the biggest plays. He did the impossible and made it look pedestrian.

Contrast that against Peppers coming up just short on punt returns. Being merely OK on pass coverage. Running the ball for loss after loss in the big games. Great player, but he didn't go next level--particularly when it mattered.

Peppers deserves to be a Heisman finalist. But he's not even in the same conversation as Woodson in 1997. He is not going to win the trophy. He may not even finish in the top 3. 


December 7th, 2016 at 4:53 PM ^

he was right.  Peppers deserves to be in NYC.  Articles about why he shouldn't be there are garbage.  Hot takes on the radio about how he's a creation of the media are also garbage.

But in our biggest games of the year, and down the stretch, his impact was not as strong as it needed.  I don't know what more he could've done on defense, but Harbaugh and Drevno failed at taking advantage of his talent.  He's better than being a gimmick wildcat QB.


December 7th, 2016 at 4:53 PM ^

I will say that Peppers is as good a punt returner as I've seen - better than Woodson, in fact. (Woodson actually didn't do much as a PR outside of his one memorable return.)  He's unlucky to have only one TD as a returner.  

But Woodson was the best defensive back in the country.  That alone should have made him a Heisman candidate.  The fact that he also made some huge individual plays on offense and STs was the icing on the cake.



December 7th, 2016 at 4:05 PM ^

He's the most versatile player, but he was not the best player in the country.  I don't see a game we won because of him.  Take Peppers off our team and we are still 10-2.  Take Lamar Jackson off Louisville or Deshaun Watson off Clemson and those are average football teams.

In our last four games, he had 36 yards rushing, 0 receiving yards and no TDs.  On defense he averaged 5 tackles a game and had 3 TFLs total.  Our other big game was against Wisconsin, which may have been his worst performance with zero offensive stats and only three tackles.  

I don't want to bash Peppers because I think he is a damn good football player who earned the trip to NYC.  But he did not do enough down the stretch to earn the trophy.  If his head coach and offensive coordinator would've utilized him better, this may be a different conversation.


December 7th, 2016 at 5:05 PM ^

Peppers would most likely have needed to notch another 3-5 INTs and honestly needed to score another half dozen or so TDs or at least one to two Woodson/Howard type returns to really have a shot.  

He made a huge difference in the games, but think that the Wildcat offensive use down the stretch may have done more to hurt him than help him in the race for a Heisman.  If they let him throw for a TD or two that would not have hurt either.



December 7th, 2016 at 6:35 PM ^

every NFL DC's dream is to have a Jabrill Peppers to disrupt gameplan. Will make $millions. No need for the Heisman to increase his draft stock. It will be great to see him on the DAC stage no matter the outcome.