Pearson Louisville's first 2012 commitment

Tyrone Pearson, the No. 1 2012 defensive line prospect in Kentucky, met with Louisville's coaching staff Friday, then made a big decision about his future Sunday after speaking with Charlie Strong.

Tyrone Pearson verbally committed to Louisville Sunday after talking with Charlie Strong.

Pearson, a three-star defensive lineman from Seneca, met with Strong's staff Friday on the UofL campus, before giving the UofL head coach his commitment on Sunday. He becomes Louisville's first commitment in the Class of 2012.

"The opportunity I have here at Louisville is great," Pearson said. "It's been my dream since I played little league football to play for Louisville. I want to be one of those people that represents my city. This is a decision that I was ready to make."

Pearson said Strong, and defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, who he spoke with early Friday about his intentions, were a major reason he committed to the Cardinals.

"I think Coach Strong and Coach (Clint) Hurtt have big things coming to this program and I want to be a part of that. Coach Strong is an outstanding coach and he brings intensity to the program. His players come there to work. His teams follow his attitude."

Pearson racked up 58 tackles and nine sacks as a junior and has been nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American game.

"On the field he's become an unstoppable player," said Seneca coach Louis Dover. "He is just physically gifted. He is an athletic freak and very quick for as strong as he is. He's still learning how to play with leverage and he's becoming even better."

Besides Louisville, Pearson had offers from Illinois, Western Kentucky, UCF, Indiana, Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. Ohio State, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State and LSU were showing interest.

Pearson, who benches more than 300-pounds and runs a 4.9 forty, is a powerful lineman who possesses the athleticism to make plays behind the line of scrimmage.

"I've got a whole lot of power and I know how to use my strength," Pearson said. "I have good quickness and speed and I'm very smart. There have been times when I just sit and watch film for hours and hours just so I can learn an offensive lineman's moves, tendencies and weaknesses."

Pearson worked with Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt last summer at UofL's one-day camp and attended several of the Cardinals games last season.

"He gave me a lot of advice," Pearson said. "He told me how to use my strength and move around and use my hands. That's something that has helped me out this season. Last year, I didn't do that that much. Using my hands has been a big key."

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