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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Ohio State 2014 Spotlight: CB Peppers

By Brad Bournival

Throughout the next few months, BuckeyeNation will look deeper into those juniors offered by Ohio State. We’ll give as much detail as we can and go behind the scenes to see why these class of 2014 standouts are so attractive to the Buckeyes. Next on the list of cornerbacks is Jabrill Peppers, who took a recent swing through the Midwest and saw both Ohio State and Michigan.

Vitals: Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) is 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds.

Status: He’s uncommitted and has Ohio State in the mix with Michigan and Stanford, for the most part. His teammate and ESPN 150 offensive tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty committed to Michigan on Monday and they’re believed to be a package deal. The Cardinal is very much a player in this one, so the Wolverines aren’t a lead-pipe lock just yet.

ESPN.com ranking: He’s ranked as the No. 1 cornerback in the nation and is the No. 2 player overall, behind only running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine).

Numbers game: It’s not always smart to throw Peppers’ way. He had more than 50 tackles and four interceptions and also forced two fumbles. He’s also incredible on the offensive side as a 1,000-yard rusher who scored 27 total touchdowns last season.

State of the position: The position is loaded, but Ohio State will likely lose a top cornerback should Bradley Roby leave for the NFL following the 2013 season. Still, the secondary moving forward looks good after a 2013 class hauled in ESPN 150 cornerbacks Eli Apple, Gareon Conley and Cam Burrows. Add Doran Grant, Adam Griffin, De’Van Bogard, Armani Reeves and Tyvis Powell to the position and it’s undoubtedly one of strength for the Buckeyes.

What has caught Ohio State’s eye: In a word, there’s more to say about what hasn’t caught the Buckeyes’ eye. He is simply a playmaker with explosive speed, smooth movements and tremendous athleticism. His confidence shoots through the roof and his size makes him perfect for the next level. He succeeds in man-to-man coverage and his reaction and anticipation are off the charts as a lockdown corner. He has it all. Offensively -- should a team choose to put him there -- Peppers is a playmaker.

What he has said about the Buckeyes: “They just recently got their staff under Urban Meyer. His record says a lot. He knows how to win and he knows how to pull the best out of his players. I also like Coach Kerry Coombs. He’s a real energetic guy. He captures your attention in the meeting rooms. It’s just a great feeling there.”