Committed Over: River Rouge (MI) safety Reggie Pearson committed to Wisconsin over offers from Iowa State, Syracuse, seven MAC offers and interest from Duke, Iowa, Michigan State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Vanderbilt, UCLA and more.
Rated: Pearson is currently ranked a three-star prospect by Scout.com
On Film: “Reggie is a physical kid. He is well built, strong, will come up and make tackles and not just make tackles, but deliver striking blows. He is smart and good in coverage in terms of reading routes and being in the right place at the right time. He has good hands, but it is his instincts and technique that do a lot of the work on his interceptions. He does not blow you away in terms of measurables but he is a good, smart, hard-working football player.” – Scout National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu
Recruiting Impact: The early commitment from Pearson gives Wisconsin some much needed flexibility in the 2017 class. While not a position the Badgers absolutely had to have a commit from, Wisconsin struck out and missed on a number of high-starred targets, including a couple from Michigan (technically three-star Scott Nelson is still in play but those chances appear slim). Thanks to Pearson, that’s not a huge problem anymore.
With UW only graduating Leo Musso after this upcoming season, three juniors after 2018 and seeing true freshmen Eric Burrell and Patrick Johnson appeared more than capable in camp, the Badgers can forego safety in this cycle and double up in 2018. That shouldn’t be too hard considering Menasha (WI) junior Trent Ingalls was offered by the Badgers over the summer and he’s big on the program. If UW gets Ingalls, the Badgers could likely check the position off.
Quotable: “(The coaches) know how to run the program and know of the storied success the Badgers have had over the years. The players and staff all seemed to get along great when I visited, so that definitely covers the family part. The success in program is there, it's not hard to see. They have had numerous Rose Bowl trips over the years and I'll never forget watching them play when I was younger. They always appealed to me, even at a young age.” - Pearson
Final Thought: Wisconsin usually lands its early commitments from in-state, not from an area that has been a recruiting wasteland for them for decades. Prior to four-star David Moorman committing two years ago in the 2015 class, Wisconsin hadn’t landed a player from Lower Michigan since 2009.
A first-team all-state selection as a sophomore, Pearson wasn’t expecting an offer from the Badgers until he showed them some film from his junior year (that was the impression he got on an early May visit to campus) but the coaches ended up surprising him with an offer by the end of the month. Putting a high value on academics (he’s a 4.0 student), Pearson fell in love with everything the school could offer him.
In charge with establishing connections in the Detroit area (River Rouge is a suburb), assistant coach Mickey Turner has already landed a prospect with high upside in less than two years, a sign that the staff has another younger, eager recruiter on their hands.
From a talent and student-athlete standpoint, the Badgers got a really good one here early to kick off their class with a solid bang.