April 15, 2012

Taybor Pepper: The newest Spartan

Michigan State picked up another late addition to the class this past weekend when long-snapping specialist Taybor Pepper committed to Head Coach Mark Dantonio. Pepper was previously a preferred walk-on for the Michigan Wolverines. SpartanMag.com has some details.

Pepper becomes the second late addition to the class of 2012. Taybor is considered one of the best long-snapping prospects in the nation for the class of 2012. Based on special teams guru Chris Rubio Pepper is a five-star prospect and the No. 7 long snapper in the 2012 class. Rubio timed Pepper's 15-yard snap at 0.59 seconds. His snaps are also very consistent when it comes to accuracy.

Rubio provided the Wolverine.com with the following information back in November:
""He has that five-star rating from me, and that basically means I think he could snap tonight in a game for Michigan, let alone a year from now. He's improved so much. He's always had really good length on his body. He has a very good frame. He's just a kid that was very raw to begin with, didn't really know what he was doing. But he's really worked to master his form. His form has really come along. It's like molding a piece of clay. A couple years ago, it wasn't there, but over time he's got it to the point that he's utilizing all that length, which a lot of kids can't do."

Pepper's father was Big Ten long-snapper for the Fighting Illini and becoming a second generation Big Ten specialist put Pepper in rare company. Having made a verbal commitment to be a preferred walk-on to the Wolverines switching to the rival Spartan certainly raises some eyebrows. We asked Pepper about his decision to make the change besides the fact that the Spartans were willing to extend a full scholarship.

"I visited Michigan State last spring and it was my first choice," he said. "The campus is beautiful and all of the buildings are within walking distance; it is just perfect. The coaches there are awesome. Coach Dantonio really knows what he is doing and I know I am going to be steered in the right direction by them."
Pepper went on to tell us that he is now up to 195-pounds and checks in at 6-foot-4 inches tall. He also indicated that he will go on scholarship this fall as part of the 2012 class and he is looking forward to competing for the long-snapping position early on in his Spartan career.

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