In case you haven’t heard — Wide Receiver U is back.
Of course there are plenty of folks that would argue it never left, with the likes of Denarius Moore, Robert Meachem and others making the leap to the NFL in recent seasons, but I digress.
Regardless of how you feel about the status of “WRU”, the success of former Vols Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson and Da’Rick Rogers this past season in the NFL, has thrust the Vols’ reputation as a wide receiver factory back into the limelight.
The aforementioned Cordarrelle Patterson was a breakout star for the Vols in 2012. The junior college transfer from Rock Hill, SC only played one season on Rocky Top, but he did enough in that one season to be a first round draft pick.
This season the Volunteers have another highly touted JuCo wide receiver coming to Knoxville.
Von Pearson, a 6’3/185 lb four-star wide receiver from Newport News, VA, is already enrolled at Tennessee. Pearson is rated as the second best JuCo wide receiver in the nation. One look at his highlights will instantly remind you of Patterson.
While Pearson doesn’t necessarily posses the incredible ball skills of Patterson (and really, who does?), his route running is actually a bit more polished.
According to UTSports.com, Vols wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni believes Pearson can make an immediate impact for Tennessee.
Azzanni: Von was as productive of a player as there was in all of junior college football this past season. He brings instant help as a threat on the outside to our offense.
The only thing that might hold Pearson back this season, is the uncertainty at the quarterback position. The Vols will head into spring practice with yet another quarterback battle on their hands. With no clear front-runner, it’s anyone’s job.
Pearson is talented enough, however, that regardless of who wins the job, he should still be able to make a significant impact in 2014. He’ll also be surrounded by talented wide receivers such as second-year wide receiver Marquez North and true freshman Josh Malone.
The Vols will undoubtedly have more weapons on offense in 2014, which will only help Pearson to have a breakout season.
Vol fans are definitely hoping Pearson has a debut season like that of Cordarrelle Patterson, but they’re also hoping Pearson decides to stick around for two seasons, unlike Patterson.