The early signing period arrives for the first time on Wednesday. Most of Wisconsin’s 19 committed prospects in the 2018 class are expected to sign. With that in mind, Land of 10 is taking a look at some of the members of that class as a primer for what to expect once they arrive on campus.
Reggie Pearson Jr. is someone who knows what he wants and goes after it. So when it came time for him to pick a school to continue his football career, he wasted little time in pulling the trigger on Wisconsin.
Pearson, a 3-star prospect, became the first member of Wisconsin’s 2018 recruiting class when he committed in August 2016. No one else in the class committed before February. Pearson officially signed with the Badgers on Wednesday.
“I went on plenty of visits before that, so I got the feeling of college and all that stuff,” Pearson told Land of 10 in July. “But when I went to Wisconsin, it was just something way different than what I’ve experienced and seen. It was just a beautiful place to be.
“So when I committed, that’s where I wanted to be. I’m a really, really loyal dude. And I stick to one thing, and that’s what I just keep my tunnel vision on — one spot. I got plenty of offers after that. I just haven’t posted them. I feel like there was no need to do it because I was settled at one school.”
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 20, 2017
Pearson has been a force for his high school program since his freshman season, when he recorded 58 tackles with 4 interceptions and earned first-team all-conference honors. Last season as a junior, he registered 120 tackles with 7 interceptions and 6 pass breakups to earn first-team all-state recognition. He earned first-team all-state honors again in his senior season and was a feared defensive back.
He grew up in River Rouge, Mich., as a Michigan State fan but did not receive a scholarship offer from the Spartans or the Michigan Wolverines. He took unofficial visits to both programs, as well as to Iowa and Purdue. Seven Mid-American Conference schools offered him. Ultimately, the opportunity to play for a winner in the Big Ten was too good for him to pass up. His father said the family has close to 30 relatives who live in Wisconsin, including aunts, uncles and cousins who reside in Madison.
Pearson’s work ethic and natural instincts help him to know where the ball is going to be before it is thrown, which makes him an even better player.
“I’ve got ball skills,” Pearson said. “My speed is getting way better. I’m strong. I’m not afraid to put my nose anywhere. I feel like I can take anybody that’s in front of me because I will never be afraid.”
Hometown: River Rouge, Mich.
Ranking: 3-star prospect, No. 16 player in Michigan, No. 47 safety in the country
Committed: August 27, 2016
How he fits in: While Wisconsin has three cornerbacks committed in the class, Pearson is the only safety. Pearson has the drive to thrive in a Badgers program that will help him develop. Wisconsin loses two safeties off the team this season: seniors Joe Ferguson and Natrell Jamerson. The Badgers have plenty in reserve, led by D’Cota Dixon and Patrick Johnson. Pearson is expected to enroll early and be on campus for spring practice.
247Sports evaluation: “Heady, productive football player who was a four-year varsity starter in high school. Does not have prototypical measureables as far as height or timed speed, but has made many plays despite that because of understanding of the game and toughness. Will play in the box, get physical and not only contribute in run support, but make impactful hits and tackles. Smart and technical in coverage, he is very rarely out of position and does a good job of diagnosing plays and getting to the right spot. Good ball skills and will make plays on the football when the plays are there to be made.”