The Best in College Football: Jackson or Peppers?

It typically happens each and every fall. After an early season game, one player is anointed as the best player in college football.

The stereotypical front runner piled up 250 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He might throw four touchdowns and 350 yards. He torched an offense with 12 catches and 300 yards. Most importantly, he also did it on a big stage in front of a national television audience.

The only thing that Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson didn’t do a few weeks ago against Clemson was win. But, that didn’t keep the college football populace at large from heaping praise on the Cardinals sophomore quarterback from Florida. As the game wore on, more and more people took to social media to proclaim Jackson as the best in the nation.

Is he? It’s hard to argue against him, that’s for sure. He as fast as any receiver or running back in college football. He can throw it as far as any quarterback that’s taken a snap in the game over the past decade. He’s part Michael Vick (legs), part Matt Stafford (arm), part Philip Rivers (competitive nature) and all baller. He was unable to put the final drive into the end zone that would’ve beaten Clemson on the road, but he more than impressed everyone that watched that game. He has 14 touchdowns rushing. He has 14 touchdowns passing. He’s a football playing freak.

So, is he? Is Jackson the best football player in the nation?

Well, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers hasn’t had that nighttime nationwide television audience like Jackson did and that’s a shame. If there’s anyone that could eventually surpass Jackson in the “he’s the best player in the nation” unofficial poll, it’s Peppers. He’s listed as a linebacker, but he plays safety, linebacker, edge rusher, quarterback, running back, receiver and punt returner. No player in college football comes close in the versatility department. Last weekend against Rutgers, he ran the ball three times for 74 yards and two touchdowns. He had a punt return touchdown called back for a penalty. He had three tackles and a half a tackle for a loss. He had a quarterback hurry. He lined up at quarterback for a pair of plays. He averaged 15.4 yards on five offensive touches. He already has ten tackles for a loss in Michigan’s first six games. He had three highlight reel plays that started the buzz on social media last Saturday night.

Jackson gets the publicity and has the general population behind him. For now. Peppers might end up carrying the electoral college when it’s all said and done.

Jackson v. Peppers. Who ya got?

By: John Harris

Presented by

© 2018 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information/Your California Privacy Rights are applicable to you. All rights reserved.