UPDATE: Pepper has decided to take a scholarship offer from Michigan State and will not be joining the Wolverines.
The newest commit in the 2012 class, long snapper Taybor Pepper (Saline, MI), took some time out to answer a few questions! Pepper was raised to hate Michigan, as his dad played for Illinois in the 90’s. How does his dad feel now that he’s a Wolverine? Read onward to find out!
Q: To start, why Michigan? Did you receive any offers elsewhere?
A: I didn’t receive any scholarship offers at all. Just preferred walk ons. It’s funny, I moved to Michigan two years ago and I was born and bred an Illinois fan since my dad played there. When I got to Michigan I was bred to not like them. Two months ago was the first time I ever wore a piece of Michigan clothing. It’s been a wild ride.
Q: How is your dad taking the news?
A: He’s cool with it! He’s really happy I’m staying in the B1G. He taught me how to long snap in the 6th grade. Then in 8th grade I went to my first camp and I loved it!
Q: What made you decide that long snapping was going to be your position of choice?
A: I was the only one who knew how to do it on my 8th grade team. So my goal was to start on varsity, after my first Rubio camp I learned that I had a shot at becoming a college football player. From that camp on I wanted to be the best I could be.
Q: Talk a little bit about the Rubio camps for those who may not know what they are. Do you feel as if they present the best chances for kickers and long snappers to be signed by D1 schools?
A: They are the best no question. Rubio has everything down to a science. He teaches in a way that we (teenage boys) can relate to. Such as, if your butt isn’t far enough back, he says “if you were camping and you had to poop, would your poop hit your shoes?” If the answer is yes, you need to move your butt back. Also, by the of the camp you understand the mechanics enough that it’s easy for you to teach other people how to long snap.
Q: Well, you started in varsity and are currently walking on to a D1 school. What’s next on the list of achievements and what is it going to take to achieve those future goals?
A: First priority is to let the coaches know that I’m going to do anything to become a better student athlete. After that it’s to start. At the end of college I want to start in the pros.
Q: Is there any professional dream team you would like to sign with if given the choice?
A: Probably the Eagles since my dad played for them for a brief time. Or the worst team in the league so I would get playing time.
Q: What are you most looking forward to when you finally put on that winged helmet for the first time?
A: Being unnoticed during the snap, but making big tackles on special teams to make a statement. Special teams is the most important part of the game.
Q: Finally, what are your thoughts on Ohio State? I know Illinois probably hates them, but you’re headed into a whole new rivalry with them!
A: I was at the game this year and went on the field! I can’t wait to crush ’em! I’ve never been a pat of a giant, historic and heated rivalry before.