When safety Jabrill Peppers was informed that he had been traded to the New York Giants, an amazing feeling washed over him as he came to the realization he’d be headed home.
“I was excited. get a chance to play football and do it in front of the home state. It was definitely an exhilarating feeling,” Peppers told reporters on Monday. “ is excited, they’re excited. It’s a much easier commute than Cleveland, Ohio. So, that works out.”
The 23-year-old Peppers was born in East Orange, New Jersey and attended high school at Don Bosco Preparatory before jetting off to Michigan where he won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2016 and was named a Unanimous All-American.
A year later, Peppers was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and had readied himself to remain in Cleveland. However, a higher power had different plans.
“ is a business, so nothing really can surprise you,” Peppers said. “It’s just more of a blessing in disguise and I feel as though God doesn’t make mistakes. If this is the path he wants me to walk down on, I’m going to embrace it. It was more of an exciting, exhilarating feeling. Just a new road to go down, and I’m excited to go down it.”
While Peppers isn’t sure exactly how the Giants and defensive coordinator James Bettcher plan to use him, he’s spent the last few days watching film and is ready to do whatever is asked of him.
“I’ve been looking at YouTube videos of when was in Arizona. I’m just anxious to learn the scheme and see how I’m going to be used,” Peppers said. “ are getting a hard worker. A guy that’s going to do whatever it takes to win. Me personally, I feel as though I haven’t even showed a third of what I can really do. So, I’m anxious just to get there and have a fresh beginning, and immerse myself in the culture and tradition, learn the schemes and be the best player I can be.”
Peppers closed out his first day in East Rutherford with a message for Giants fans.