On Tuesday the University of Utah received a commitment from three-star safety and JUCO-transfer Jadon Pearson. Despite having received a handful of offers from several other Pac-12 schools, Pearson committed just days after his visit to Salt Lake City. With their recent success as Pac-12 Champions and ability to develop top-tier NFL-ready defenders, Pearson simply couldn't pass up on the opportunity.
"Especially coming off the season they had last year, for them to express their want for me and offer after seeing my film just 30 minutes prior, it was very humbling. I didn't really know that much until my head coach was like, 'These dudes are very official. They produce safeties every year into the NFL,' so as soon as I did a little bit more research, that's when the magnitude really hit. I was just very humbled," Pearson explained.
After a stellar season at the JUCO level, Pearson started to attract the attention of several power-five schools, including Washington State, Oregon State, Florida State, Missouri and Utah. Shortly after spring camp, Utah's interest peaked as Pearson sent his tape to Coach Quinton Ganther who immediately forwarded it to Coach Morgan Scalley.
"It was my versatility. I have film from outside linebacker all the way to corner. I can play five different positions which really spoke volumes. And then my intensity on the film. I really like to be a ball-hawk and do things that safeties at Utah do, as he [Coach Scalley] would say. I feel like thats why he didn't waste any time in offering me and building that relationship," Pearson said.
Despite being new to the team, Pearson appears to be a perfect fit, not only because of his play-style but his attitude and coachability. Just like the other members of the defense, Pearson already understands that its a team effort, not an individual one.
"It's their mentality," Pearson said. "They're just going to get after it. They don't care who is in front of them. They're gonna compete every single rep. From what I have seen on film and from meeting with Coach Scalley is that they're all really coachable and are all moving toward one goal. Very rarely is they're going to be stragglers. So I think it's their mentality and how they like to carry themselves."
"Coming into an environment with a very upcoming offense and an already really good defense, its like the perfect match," He added.
To give an idea of the type of versatile defender that Pearson is, last season he recorded 74 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three interceptions and four pass breakups which earned him first-team All-California JUCO. Despite the success however, Pearson is focused on developing three specific areas before he suits up for the Utes in the fall.
"I would say the main three things is conditioning, becoming more explosive, so changing my workout plan, not really loading the bar heavy but more focused on bar speed and building those plyometrics, and then footwork. Those are the three main things I am focused on right now," he said.
Having announced his commitment, Pearson will now make his way to Salt Lake City the second week of July and will prepare to compete for a spot heading into the 2022 season.
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