Peppers labeled "Future Game Changer"
Jabrill Peppers has accumulated his fair share of accolades. The most recent one, though, might be his most impressive.
The Paramus Catholic football superstar, about to begin his junior year, was featured as a "Future Game Changer" in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.
The segment featuring the 16-year-old Peppers is displayed on the cover with the description, "Eight stars of tomorrow, and where to find them today."
Peppers has been no stranger to making headlines this past year. Shortly after Peppers spent the fall season anchoring a national championship-winning team, MSG Varsity first broke the news that he had transferred out of Don Bosco Prep and enrolled at Paramus Catholic in February.
The All-American cornerback/running back will not have to sit out the mandatory transfer rule of five games, and he will suit up in a black and gold uniform in Week 1 against Delbarton.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound MSG Varsity All-Metro first team selection helped the Ironmen capture their sixth straight Non-Public Group 4 title and second national crown in three years this past fall.
Peppers recorded 917 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on offense, while he shut down many of the top opposing receivers in the state on defense in 2011. Arguably the top recruit in America for the Class of 2014, Peppers was named the National Sophomore Football Player of the Year by the U.S. Air Force.
He joins an on-the-rise Paladins program which finished 6-5 and reached the second round of the sectional playoffs, where coach Chris Partridge and company fell to Don Bosco, 42-3.
Paramus Catholic had cruised past Seton Hall Prep, 48-7, in the first round and began what many called a new era for the parochial school, so often left out of the spotlight -- usually occupied by fellow North Jersey powers Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic and St. Joseph Regional.
Thanks to Peppers and a bevy of returning players such as Tyrone Washington and fellow receiver Najee Clayton -- a rising sophomore -- the Paladins will certainly be a hot topic throughout the months leading up to kick-off in the 2012 campaign.
According to Partridge, Paramus Catholic is slated to face Montclair, Delbarton and Ridgewood in addiiton to its normal schedule consisting of Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic and St. Joseph Regional.
Meanwhile, Don Bosco will have to find a way to replace Peppers, as well as multiple top-flight graduates such as defensive end Darius Hamilton (Rutgers), wide receiver Leonte Carroo (Rutgers), safety Elijah Shumate (Notre Dame), linebackers Mike Strizak (Boston College) and Kyle Sakowski (Lafayette), quarterback Mike Yankovich, and linemen Mike Casimos (Akron) and Tyler Samra (UConn).
Contact Brian Fitzsimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @FitzWriter