During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Today we look at a projected starter in the secondary, Reggie Pearson.
Name: Reggie Pearson
2020 eligibility: redshirt sophomore
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 Composite 3-star, No. 49 safety, River Rouge, Mich.
2018 Recruitment: After an early offer in May of 2016, Reggie Pearson decided to commit to the Badgers during the summer of 2016 over other early offers from Iowa State, Syracuse and Vanderbilt among a host of MAC schools. Despite receiving attention from other programs after his commitment such as Arkansas, Michigan and others, Pearson never wavered. Pearson was the first commit for the 2018 class, and set the tone for the group and enrolled early.
Career statistics: 18 games played, 14 starts, 65 tackles. 4.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles
2019 statistics: 14 games played, 13 starts, 60 tackles. 3.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles
Player overview: After enrolling early, Reggie Pearson played in four games as a true freshman despite battling injuries. An extremely smart and talented strong safety, Pearson is probably the hardest hitting player on the entire defense. A solid tackler and adept at both run support and covering the slot, Pearson earned a start as freshman on the road at Michigan. He flashed his abilities early in his career with a forced fumble in that game.
Entering the 2019 season, Pearson flew up the depth chart and earned a starting spot in Jim Leonhard’s defense. After a strong redshirt freshman season, where he forced two more crucial fumbles he set himself up nicely to continue his upward trajectory as a leader on the defense.
Best case scenario for 2020: After earning a full-time starting role on the defense in 2019, Pearson should assume that same role in 2020. A heat seeking missile as a hitter, he is able to make an even greater impact as a sophomore. Last season he was fourth on the team in tackles. With Chris Orr and Zack Baun both gone, Pearson’s tackling numbers could continue to climb, as could his tackles for a loss.
Good in coverage as well, Pearson could easily add a couple interceptions this season as well.
Likely role on team in 2020: After making an impact immediately on campus in his first two seasons, Reggie Pearson’s role on the defense should only continue to move in a positive direction. Only a sophomore eligibility wise, he is a projected starter with Eric Burrell at safety. The return of Scott Nelson could mean more creativity for defense coordinator Jim Leonhard, but Pearson will be a consistent starter unless something unforeseen happens.