Thompson’s Peppins wins Alabama’s Mr. Football
MONTGOMERY – Thompson coach Mark Freeman vividly remembers when Ryan Peppins scored one of his first varsity touchdowns. This year, he caught 80 passes for 1,379 yards and 23 touchdowns during the Warriors’ 13-1 season that culminated in another Class 7A state title.
“It was his freshman year and we pulled him up, and I put him in one game,” Freeman said. “We ran a jet sweep, and he reversed field. I think he had every player on the defense chasing him, but he darted his way through there and scored.
“He came up to me on the sidelines and asked, ‘Coach, did I do good?’ I said, ‘Man, you did great.’”
Four years later, Peppins leaves Thompson as a three-time state champion and Alabama’s best football player for the 2021 season.
The 5-foot-8, 153-pound wide receiver was named Mr. Football by the Alabama Sports Writers Association at the group’s annual Player of the Year Banquet in Montgomery on Thursday. The event was sponsored by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.