Paramus (N.J.) Catholic defensive back Jabrill Peppers was named the 2013 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Defensive Player of the Year.
Height, weight: 6-1, 210
College: Has said he will sign with Michigan.
Background: Had 57 solo tackles and four interceptions, though teams often did not throw in his direction. Ran for 595 yards and six touchdowns as a running back and had 413 yards and nine touchdowns as a receiver and had 247 yards as a kick returner. Has won four state titles, the first two while he was a freshman and sophomore at Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) and the last two while at Paramus Catholic. An aspiring musician, he rapped his verbal commitment to Michigan on ESPN. He’s seen his share of family misfortune. His father Terry was released from jail in June and finally got to see him play this season but had been incarcerated on a weapons charge since Jabrill was seven. His older brother, Don Curtis, was shot to death in 2010 while eating at a Chinese restaurant in Newark.
Other favorite sport: Track. I like running the 200 meters, just for the fact you have to be strong to run it. You have to know how to run the curve. In the 100, if you get beat off the line, it’s over. In the 200, if you get beat off the line, you have plenty of room to make it up.
Most embarrassing: Losing on national television this year to my former school.
Favorite old school rapper: Probably LL Cool J.
Favorite old school rap: Juicy by Biggie (Smalls).
Favorite new school rapper: J Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Drake.
Toughness through tragedy: It was inevitable that it had to toughen me. It made me the person I am today. It’s my main motivation. It’s just going to keep driving me.
Favorite move: Spin move.
Favorite teacher: Ms. (Ann Marie) Quattrocchi for English. She’s animated and she’s very visual and that helps me because I need things to be visual for them to stick.
Biggest failure: Not leading my team to a perfect season. We lost twice. I could have been a better leader. I could have made a lot more plays than I made.
Biggest accomplishment: Winning the state championship four times.