Former Thompson standout Ryan Peppins transfers to UAB

Published 3:32 pm Monday, July 8, 2024

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By TYLER RALEY | Special to the Reporter

BIRMINGHAM – After being one of the many Division I players to come out of Thompson’s football program in recent years, Ryan Peppins is heading back to his hometown roots to continue his college career at UAB.

Peppins announced his decision on Sunday after spending the last two seasons at both Grambling State and Utah. He joins the Blazers with not a ton of collegiate playing time on the field, but a whole lot of talent, which he showed when he played with the Warriors in high school.

Peppins graduated from Thompson in 2022 as a three-time state champion out of the four state title games he played in. That accolade is a major accomplishment in itself, but his stats and awards back his stardom up even more.

The wide receiver most notably won the Mr. Football award and Back of the Year in 2021 as a result of his senior season performance. He became the first player in both Thompson High School and Shelby County history to earn the honor, marking a huge moment to end his high school career.

Peppins racked up 1,564 yards on 80 receptions and 23 touchdowns in his senior campaign, which ultimately earned him a spot on the ASWA All-State First Team for the 2021 season.

His recognition for All-State honors was his second consecutive year of earning a spot on the team, as he earned a spot on the First Team for his junior year performance in 2020.

Peppins joins a UAB program that is entering its second year under former NFL quarterback and new head coach Trent Dilfer. The Blazers are trying to turn things around after going 4-8 in 2023 and looking to get back to bowl eligibility this fall.

As a redshirt sophomore, Peppins joins former Thompson teammates in fellow linebacker redshirt sophomores Jax Van Zandt and Brandon Franklin.