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October 20, 2013
Instant Analysis: Lavon Pearson
Head coach Butch Jones has openly spoke about his programs need to increase their speed in recruiting both on defense and in the skill positions on offense. Sunday, Tennessee upgraded their speed when they landed junior college wide receiver Lavon Pearson.
We take a closer look at the newest Vol with our Instant Analysis.
HOW DOES PEARSON FIT IN?
With a young wide receiver group that's not shown the ability to to stretch the field, Tennessee has been looking for more speed. The Vols appeared to have answered that question with Eric Lauderdale and Kameel Jackson. But Lauderdale re-opened his recruitment and Jackson isn't playing that fall which opened the door for Pearson.
And the more Tennessee saw Pearson the more they fell in love with the junior college receiver who stands 6-foot-3, 185 pounds
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TENNESSEE?
It's big for Tennessee because Pearson, who's originally from Virginia, offers lots of speed and he is a natural receiver which is important. Pearson's athletic ability jumps off the screen if you look at his tape, but it appears that he's not just an athlete that's going after the ball. He's more of a polished receiver who brings the ability to stretch the field which is a need for the Jones and the offense moving forward.
Pearson could also be a factor in the return game. A recruit game that hasn't had a return of 20 yards or more the last two games.
The bottom line is that with the commitment of Pearson, the Vols upgraded their speed and vertical passing threat. A priority for the Vols.
Moving forward, it means that the only receiver left on the board for the Vols is highly touted wideout Josh Malone. The top 100 receiver, who will make his announcement the first week of December has Tennessee and Georgia as his top two choices at this time.
SCOUTING REPORT ON PEARSON
Now, we check in with Rivals.com Analyst Rob Cassidy for a breakdown of Pearson:
"With Pearson, the size-speed combination is obvious. As is how smooth he is coming out of cuts. What's maybe a little bit undersold is his raw athleticism. Pearson is the kind of player who can bail a quarterback out of a bad throw, and he does that routinely at his current school. He's not playing against top competition or anything of the sort, really, but the fact that he so easily turns short or offline passes into big gains says something. He's the kind of player capable of having an instant impact in the SEC because all of the physical tools are there. If you're going to nitpick him, the questions have to center around his blocking because he's a nightmare when targeted.
"Pearson should debut with an impressive star-rating sometime this week, when the junior college rankings changes are rolled out."