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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Peppers down to 4 schools, to visit PSU

By Josh Moyer

Jabrill Peppers' coach at Paramus (N.J.) Catholic said his star player is inching closer to a decision and it's fair to say he's now down to just four schools: Michigan, Stanford, Penn State and LSU.

"I think that Ohio State is out," said Peppers' coach, Chris Partridge. "I don't think that's a big one on his list. Maybe it's in his top five, but I think he likes the other schools better."

The Nittany Lions are the surprise team on that list because the five-star cornerback hasn't mentioned them much in recent interviews. He last visited Penn State on Feb. 20 for just a few hours, and he's now set to be on campus again May 18 -- likely for an overnight trip.

Partridge said immediately after that February visit that there was no doubt in his mind Peppers would return. And after touring other campuses and talking to other coaches, he felt PSU deserved a second look.

"I think that Coach [Bill] O'Brien made an impression on him," Partridge said. "He's a good guy and really just kind of down to earth and a good coach, and I figure that's why Jabrill felt comfortable with him.

"He liked the guys when he met them for a brief time, and the facilities obviously speak for themselves. So I feel like Jabrill hasn't seen enough of Penn State, whereas he was at Michigan, Ohio State and LSU for two full days."

Peppers, No. 2 in the ESPN 150, recently moved his commitment timetable up in hopes to avoid the limelight some. He now wants to decide sometime in early June, before Paramus Catholic's workouts start up.

According to Partridge, Peppers can't even warm up at track practice without fans yelling what school he should attend. And within an hour of word leaking out about Peppers' PSU visit, Partridge said he received a dozen text messages and eight missed calls.

"He just wants to put this behind him and concentrate on the season," Partridge added.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound athlete still hasn't worked out a visit with Stanford, and Patridge said that's still a situation they're trying to deal with because of Peppers' schedule and the school's distance.

Paramus is less than a four-hour drive from Penn State, so that trip's obviously a bit easier for the highly touted prospect.

"He needs to be sure about where he wants to go," Partridge said. "And I think he went up to Penn State, and he liked it. He didn't have any negatives. He didn't get to stay overnight.

"He went around and evaluated other schools. And, when it comes down to it, he liked Penn State so he wants to give it another look."