Former Wisconsin Badgers safety Reggie Pearson is entering the transfer portal per an announcement on his Twitter account on Tuesday. Pearson missed all of last season with an undisclosed injury and wasn’t even on the 2020 roster because he wasn’t medically cleared to play.
Sorry to all the fans here at UW, y'all have been great and will be sorely missed❤️❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ca4xlxCVhg— Reggie (@reggiepearson21) March 16, 2021
When the Badgers released their updated fall roster ahead of the 2020 season it was a surprise to not see Pearson listed and Paul Chryst said, “Reggie’s was actually, in the offseason, found something that was a concern so for this year wasn’t cleared to play and that’s why he’s not on the roster right now because he wouldn’t be cleared for the season.”
Pearson’s father, who is active on Twitter and would post cryptic messages with pictures of his son in a UW uniform over the past few months seemingly teasing a return to the team, tweeted on Wednesday morning that he did not have any ill will towards Chryst.
Let me be clear, UW Coaching Staff are wonderful Guys, Coach Chryst is the Best, he fought for Reggie when no one else did. We have no ill will towards the University. Sometimes things just move different and you have to move different also. Always and forever..On Wisconsin!! ✊— Coach Pearson (@ReggiePearson4) March 17, 2021
If I had to take an educated guess, the team doctors made a final decision on Tuesday that they wouldn’t be able to clear Pearson to play again this season.
In 2019, Pearson took over a starting role in the defensive backfield after Scott Nelson tore his ACL. The hard hitting safety from Michigan recorded 60 tackles, including 3.5 for loss, two forced fumbles and four passes defended during the season and was primed for a big role in 2020.
Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said that Pearson “did a great job last season for us and we were really going to rely on him to be a big time playmaker,” during some preseason media availibility back in October.
While Pearson would have been a welcome addition to the Badgers’ safety position, UW isn’t exactly thin there. Scott Nelson is fully healthy and Collin Wilder decided to use the NCAA waiver to come back and play another season. Young players like Titus Toler will also be looking for more snaps.
We wish Pearson well at his next stop and hope that he stays healthy and productive.