Wisconsin is known for its hard-nosed, blue-collar style of football. The Badgers forego flash for physicality.
It’s what attracted Reggie Pearson to the Big Ten program. The Michigan safety goes about his business for the joy of it, not the attention.
Pearson could have dragged out his recruitment with a year and a half remaining until his national signing day. Instead, he decided Saturday to become the first member of Wisconsin’s 2018 class.
“I pulled the trigger early because I didn’t want to wait like other kids who really are just doing it to show off how many offers they have. And I really loved the city, the school and the people there. I knew that’s where I should be,” Peason told Today’s U.
Rivals ranks Pearson as a three-star prospect and the No. 27 national safety in 2018. Scout and 247 also tab him as a three-star, with the latter rating him as the No. 36 player at his position.
The River Rouge (Michigan) High junior also reported scholarship offers from Iowa State, Syracuse, Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Miami (OH) and Western Michigan, among others.
Pearson said his parents and coaches helped him greatly with his decision. He also was influenced by having family in Madison.
The Wisconsin staff won over Pearson (5-11, 185). In addition, he was driven to play Big Ten football growing up in its footprint.
Education played a large role in Pearson’s decision as well. He’s chosen to study mechanical engineering.
“I was born around it and that’s where I’ve been working almost my whole life. So, it’s natural, I would say. My grandpa was an engineer and my dad works at Ford. So, he’s in the engineering field,” Pearson said.
Assistant recruiting coordinator Paul Meunier led the Badgers’ pursuit of Pearson, but he talked more with defensive backs coach Jim Leonhard and tight ends coach Mickey Turner during the process. He bonded with both men.
“Coach Turner is a young guy I can relate to. He’s a cool guy, energetic, but also gets serious when it’s time. Coach Leonhard is a great guy. I can relate to coach because he doesn’t say much and neither do I, but he will teach you things that will help you in your future,” Pearson said.
For his part, Pearson said Wisconsin is getting an athlete who will make plays on and off the field.
Michigan and Michigan State showed Pearson interest during the recruiting process. Now, he’ll have a chance to play against the Wolverines and Spartans, provided the unbalanced Big Ten schedule allows it.
“It will be a great experience. I’ll be happy I’m back in my home state and I’ll be extra motivated. It’ll be more personal for me because I would want to beat my home state,” he said.
With a huge decision regarding his future behind him, Pearson can concentrate on his team and on the need to improve as a player. He has no doubt he made the right choice.
“I feel good and confident about it because if I didn’t I wouldn’t of made the decision in the first place,” he said.
Check out Pearson’s sophomore highlights.