Linebacker Brings 'Pep' To Defense

Sept. 12, 2000

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

His first name means he was born on a Thursday.But it's mostly on Saturdays when University of Wyoming middle linebackerKwabena Peprah wreaks havoc on the football field.

Peprah was born in Ghana, West Africa, and is a member of the Ashente Tribe.His family lived in London for a few years before they moved to theDallas/Fort Worth area when Kwabena was 4 years old.

At 5-foot-11, 218 pounds, Peprah is not the prototypical middle linebacker.

But what he lacks in size, he makes up for in other ways.

"I feel like I'm pretty quick since I used to play running back (in highschool)," Peprah said. "I strive to be assignment-perfect. I study myopponents and try to be aggressive.

"God may not have given me a 240-pound frame or 6-foot-2 height, but I dothe best with what I have."

Added UW defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt: "He's a student of thegame. He watches a lot of film and asks a lot of questions. He's always inwatching film, I never have to look for him when that time comes.

"He's a physical player who will stick you. He's very determined. He has afast motor, but he's also very business-like on the field. He's a veteranwho has gone to war in a lot of battles for us."

Peprah said he is "one of the last Mohicans" because he is one of threeplayers still at UW from when Joe Tiller was the coach in 1996. QuarterbackJay Stoner and defensive end Pat Hirsch are the other two.

"I'm part of the old school, but I wouldn't have it any other way," Peprahsaid. "The seniors we have on this team, even guys who were recruited byother coaches, have shown great leadership. Everybody's following us andwe're trying to take this team as far as we can take it."

Kwabena is arguably the most unique first name among the UW players, butPeprah's nickname is "Pep."

"If you said Kwabena to some of the new guys, they probably wouldn't knowwho he is because everyone calls him Pep," said UW junior outside linebackerTim Glynn, Peprah's roommate.

Peprah lives up to his nickname in the fact he provides the defense withpep.

"Out on the field, he takes control," Glynn said. "He has a knack of knowingwhat's going on.

"He doesn't make very many mistakes. He's just good. He might not be quiteas tall or weigh as much as most middle linebackers, but he has the speedand the power to overcome that."