Taybor Pepper will be eating peanut butter sandwiches in East Lansing this summer instead of Ann Arbor.
Pepper, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound senior long snapper at Saline, accepted an offer from Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio on Saturday for a full scholarship as part of the 2012 recruiting class. Pepper planned to go to Michigan as a preferred walk-on, before hearing from MSU last week.
"Only a few long snappers each year get scholarships," Pepper said. "At the time I was content with being a preferred walk-on at Michigan. Of course, I wanted a scholarship."
Pepper said MSU had been his first choice since attending a camp there last summer, but the staff initially told him MSU probably wouldn't be adding a long snapper to this year's recruiting class.
That changed in the past week.
"When I got the call from Michigan State, I was ecstatic," Pepper said, adding that the U-M coaching staff "told me they couldn't offer me a scholarship, which I totally understood. Michigan State all along would have been my first choice. I just thought they didn't need a long snapper."
Part of Pepper's daily routine to add weight includes eating several peanut butter sandwiches, including a one or two in the middle of the night after setting his alarm clock.
"Every night at 2 a.m. I wake up and eat a peanut butter sandwich or two," he said. "I'm just trying to pack on the pounds. Right now I'm about 190, 195. I'm trying to get to 200 by the end of the school year."
Pepper said the MSU coaches told him they'd like him to get to about 220.
Pepper learned about long snapping from his father, Cam, who was a starting right guard at Illinois in 1989-90. Cam Pepper said he attended a training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles after college and learned to be a long snapper in an effort to bolster his chances of surviving the camp. It didn't work, but he learned enough to teach his son.