Jabrill Peppers
AP Photo

New York Giants strong safety Jabrill Peppers discusses how “Jersey pride” is something that’ll motivate him this year.

In 2019, Jabrill Peppers will be representing his home state of New Jersey for the first time since high school. He showcased his talents at Paramus Catholic in Paramus, NJ, then attended the University of Michigan. He played for the Cleveland Browns for two years before getting traded to the New York Giants.

Now that he’s finally back home, Peppers couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s a Jersey thing,” Peppers said, per George Willis of the New York Post. “It’s everything. That’s who I am. That’s what made me who I am. Now I get to come back, a Jersey product, and little kids can see that it’s doable. You don’t have to fall into [bad] circumstances like everybody else.”

Peppers will be looking to start in the defensive backfield for the Giants come Week 1 of the regular season. He’ll most likely be lining up alongside veteran safety Antoine Bethea, veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins, as well as rookie corners DeAndre Baker and Corey Ballentine.

Although Peppers was only 12 and 16 years old when the Giants won Super Bowls 42 and 46, respectively, he sees those old victorious seasons as extra inspiration for himself. Ultimately, he realizes what those titles did for his home state.

“I was real young when they won those Super Bowls and played in those big games,” Peppers said. “But I know what it did for the whole state. We have a thing called Jersey pride. I want to get back to them days.”

The Giants play their final preseason game this Thursday against the New England Patriots. It’s unclear if Peppers will play in the game. There’s a good chance he could sit and rest for the inaugural regular-season game on Sept. 8.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.