Donovan Peoples-Jones burst onto the NFL scene Sunday with just three catches.
The first saved the Cleveland Browns from taking a big loss.
Jarvis Landry just got the pass off on a trick play that looked like it was blowing up.
When he heaved the ball toward the left sideline, some of us might have thought Landry was throwing it away.
But there was Donovan Peoples-Jones flying across the field, snagging the ball just before he crossed the sideline.
Near disaster turned into a 19-yard play and a Browns first down.
THE ROOKIE DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES GAME WINNER🔥
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 25, 2020
Baker Mayfield kicked off the game-winning drive with 1:06 left in the game by hitting DPJ for 13 yards.
And of course, Peoples-Jones made the catch along the right sideline in the end zone to seal the Browns victory.
It wasn’t a bad performance for a rookie sixth-round draft pick.
But what else do we know about the Browns’ latest rookie contributor?
You might be surprised by these 3 facts about Donovan Peoples-Jones.
1. A Snowstorm Might Have Kept DPJ From Being a Buckeye
Urban Meyers offered Donovan Peoples-Jones a full football scholarship to Ohio State.
DPJ was only a freshman in high school at the time.
Michigan State jumped into the competition for the youngster very early, too.
Peoples-Jones was a few days from his self-announced decision date when he paid an additional visit to Ann Arbor.
When a blizzard blew in, head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to personally drive Peoples-Jones and his mother back to their Detroit home.
On the way, Urban Meyers called DPJ.
Meyers was supposed to visit the family home that same day, but the snow was very bad in Ohio.
When he realized his prized recruit was in Jim Harbaugh’s truck, Meyers insisted he would make the drive to Detroit, too.
“We thought we had him,” recalls Meyers. “When he (chose Michigan), that broke my heart.”
2. Donovan Peoples-Jones Could Be A Doctor Someday
Ohio State and Michigan used an unusual method to convince Peoples-Jones to choose their programs.
Each coach arranged for DPJ to shadow a surgeon for a day at their University Hospitals.
Peoples-Jones’ father was an orthopedic surgeon and the coaches knew their recruit wanted to be a doctor, too.
In fact, many folks didn’t believe the receiver would leave Michigan after his junior year because of his commitment to his studies.
@BrettKollmann ever track down why Donovan Peoples-Jones fell to the 6th? I follow the team as closely as anybody and the most I ever heard about off-field distractions is he volunteered at the hospital a lot because he's interested in becoming a doctor when football's over.
— Seth M. Fisher (@Misopogon) May 7, 2020
His father sparked his son’s interest by gifting him the heralded Anatomy textbook, “Anatomy: A Regional Atlas of the Human Body.”
DPJ followed his father around on the job several times before college.
We don’t know if his plans to complete his degree and attend medical school will be affected by a successful NFL career.
But we wouldn’t count out calling DPJ “Doctor Peoples-Jones” someday.
3. Education Has Always Been More Important Than Football
By the time he ended his high school career with a 69-catch, 1168-yard, and 18 touchdown senior year, DPJ was mulling football scholarship offers from ten Division 1 colleges.
But he didn’t need football to earn a free ride at many universities.
Peoples Jones was as competitive in the classroom as the locker room and sported a GPA of 3.9 and a 1200 SAT score.
His mom has an MBA in finance and negotiates government contracts for Verizon and his dad is an orthopedic surgeon.
Since early childhood, his parents made sure Peoples-Jones knew his education was more important than athletics.
But that didn’t stop DPJ’s father from using a trampoline to hone his son’s football skills.
Before he started high school, Donovan could flip in the air, catch a football, and land on his feet.
Peoples-Jones entered the NFL draft with the top SPARQ score at his position and an NFL Combine performance in the 99th percentile overall.
Urban Meyers rated him as a top-ten draft pick, and can not explain how he fell to the 6th round.
But count the Cleveland Browns among those willing to show the NFL how big a mistake that was.