EAST ORANGE, NJ – East Orange residents had reason to feel excited when hometown legend Jabrill Peppers was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the New York Giants this past offseason.
Peppers, who was drafted by the Browns in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan, started playing football as a youngster for the East Orange Rams.
On Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Giants practice facility in East Rutherford, Peppers donated a total of $10,000 to the East Orange Junior Jaguars/Rams and the East Orange Hurricanes. Peppers presented two checks, each for $5,000, to the organizations.
“Y’all know East Orange is where I’m from, and it’s a place real near and dear to my heart,” Peppers told the group of youth football players, in an article posted by nj.com. “That and football, they changed my life. It’s a real special place to me. I’m here to make this day even more special for y’all. I got (Chief Marketing Officer) Chris Hummel from United Rentals, and we want to donate some money to y’all.”
The Junior Jaguars this fall have combined with the Rams.
EO Junior Jaguars president Fritz Dupiche attended the ceremony.
“It’s awesome,” said Dupiche in a phone interview with The Record-Transcript on Aug. 7. “He is a hometown guy from East Orange; he loves East Orange and comes back and work with kids when he has time. He is a great mentor for the kids.”
The Junior Jaguars/Rams started practice Aug. 1. They usually practice at Soverell Park, however the park currently is unavailable. Instead, they are practicing at Watsessing Park.
The team competes in the North Jersey Pop Warner League. There are several levels: Flag, Mitey Mite, Junior Pee Wee, Pee Wee, JV, Unlimited, 12U and possibly 10U. The season starts Sept. 8.
Peppers is the starting safety and the No. 1 punt returner for the Giants. He was part of the trade involving Odell Beckham Jr.
Peppers was an All-American at Paramus Catholic where he played in his junior and senior seasons. He played at Don Bosco Prep in his freshman and sophomore years.
Photos Courtesy of Fritz Dupiche