MORE: Class of 2014 Rivals100
With Da'Shawn Hand taking home the top spot in first Rivals100 for the 2014 class, a lot of players have found themselves with extra motivation to move up in the rankings. One of those players is the number two overall player, Jabrill Peppers.
"I need to go extra hard to get that number one spot," said the five-star cornerback from Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic.
Peppers has been highly sought-after for a long time now and, as a result, he sports an impressive offer sheet.
"I have an offer from pretty much every school except for Texas and Clemson," said the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Peppers. "My coach always tells me when I get a new offer."
With a ton of programs coming after him, Peppers wanted to make some cuts so that he could focus on a smaller list of schools.
"Stanford and Ohio State are battling for number one right now," he said. "Then comes Michigan followed by Notre Dame and Alabama. I'm ready to declare those schools as my top five."
Peppers explained why those five schools are more impressive than the rest.
Stanford - "I like Stanford because of the education side and life after football not to mention they have proven they can play with the best in the country," said Peppers. "Coaches leaving the program won't really affect a school in my eyes because I was taught at an early age by (former Rutgers head coach) Greg Schiano that I shouldn't pick a college based on a coach. I like Stanford as a university and I could see myself playing there."
Ohio State - "I like Ohio State a lot because of the tradition, it's a football state and they have largest living alumni base in the country," said Peppers. "I like Coach Urban Meyer a lot. It's true what they say about him. He is a really good guy, good coach, really knows what he is doing and knows how to win. I also like the defensive back coach, Coach Coombs. He reminds me of a coach I had freshman year at Don Bosco Prep. I can also get a great education there as well. They had the number two recruiting class this year and they already signed a top defensive back, Damon Webb, in my class. I also talk with Kiy Hester and Kevin Wilkins about how we all really like Ohio State."
Michigan - "I grew up a Michigan fan," he said. "I always liked the tradition from Mario Manningham to Mike Hart and all of those guys. The only thing that hurts Michigan at the moment is the coaching stability. I heard Coach Hoke has a lot of offers from the NFL on the table. I know I'm not going to go to a college because of a coach but if a head coach leaves they go into a whole new system and there is a new group of guys I would have to get used to and it just makes the process much more difficult."
Notre Dame - "I like them for a lot of the same reasons as Stanford," he said. "They used to come see me a lot but that slowed down some. I don't know if that's an indicator of anything but who knows what will happen. I'm not going to penalize them for that right now. They had a pretty good season so that doesn't hurt either."
Alabama - "I'm pretty sure it is self explanatory as to why I like Alabama," Peppers said. "They are the national champs and they had the number one recruiting class. My recruiting coach is Coach Lance Thompson but I haven't taken a visit there yet."
The next step for Peppers is to take a few visits.
"I'm visiting Stanford and Ohio State in the spring. I'm going to Ohio state the first week of April and Stanford in July. I want to go up to Notre Dame. I'm really only focused on my top 5. The only coaches that I've really formed a relationship with are the Stanford coaches and Ohio State coaches because they come out to see me."
Although these schools have made a really good impression on Peppers thus far, there is a possibility of other schools jumping into the mix.
"Nothing is set in stone and my top five could definitely change."