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may 10, 2013
Joe Pearson: proven talent, emerging NFL rookie?
BY RISHAB REVANKAR
"I think of offensive lineman as a blue collar job/' said
Joe Pearson, senior offensive lineman. "You don't get much
credit, but you still work your tail off everyday."
After two seasons at Guilford, Pearson, 6-foot-2 inches
tall and over 300 pounds, is primed to perform at the
His distinguished career at Guilford, featured a 2013
Dream Bowl All-Star Game appearance and performances
at multiple NFL and CFL combines:
Senior Joe Pearson, right, celebrates during a game. Pearson’s
accomplishments include winning a Dream Bowl All-Star Game.
"If you look at the beginning of Joe's career, there were a
lot of red flags," said head football coach Chris Rusiewicz.
After transferring from the University of Southern
Mississippi to Appalachian State University, and finally, to
Guilford his junior year, Pearson recalls that a "pretty bad
attitude" was one of his red flags.
"I felt like I was better than everyone else," said Pearson.
"Coaches appreciated my talent but not my attitude."
"You knew he was going to be a hit or miss," said
Brad Davis, assistant football coach and offensive line
"He was that guy who could go out on the field and get
three 15-yard penalties."
The evolution: raw to real
"Seeing him grow to where he is today, it's 180 degrees
from when he arrived," Rusiewicz said. "He went from
a player no one knew to the number 57 center in college
What led to the change?
"It took a conversation with some coaches," Rusiewicz
said. "Finally, he realized that he needed to step up and
dominate. And he did."
"What my coaches told me was a light switch for me,"
Pearson said. "I took their advice with me the whole season,
and I dominated the opposition like no one else on our tean;i
Pearson finished the season with Second Team All-Old
Dominion Athletic Conference honors and captained the
Dream Bowl All-Star Game, where he led his team to a 37-0
"All season, he was such a dominant force that it was fun
playing next to him," said sophomore offensive lineman
According to senior defensive lineman and team captain
Daniel Biggerstaff, Pearson's competitive spirit has helped
him rise to the occasion.
"The guy doesn't even believe that he can get beat,"
Biggerstaff said. "You put anybody in front of him, he will
take them down."
"I've been one-on-one with NFL guys, and I've been
winning every battle," said Pearson. "I've trained with
linebackers like Danelle Ellerbe, who won a Super Bowl
with the Baltimore Ravens.
"Having guys like him push me has been rewarding."
Pearson, #69, faced opposing linemen in a Fall 2013 game.
A promising future
"Shoot for the stars, and worst case, you'll land on the
moon," said Pearson. "So I'm shooting for the stars — the
Pearson has taken his talents to two NFL scouting
combines, two Canadian Football League workouts, and
plans to meet with the CPUs Edmonton Eskimos on May 11.
"I see him going to the CFL at the very least," said
Biggerstaff. "Just the other day, a scout from the St. Louis
Rams called to have lunch with him."
Rodney Beasley, Pearson's trainer at Proehlific Park, is
confident of Pearson's chances.
"He's got the drive, the skill and some serious speed,"
said Beasley. "We just make sure there's no 'can't' in his
As Pearson eagerly awaits a call-up, trainers, coaches and
teammates alike have their fingers crossed.
"Rodney, my trainer, talks about it every day," said
Pearson. "He says, 'Joe, I can't wait for you to give me call
one day and say that I made it, man. I made it.'"
"Jubilation will fill the coaches' suite (if Pearson makes
it to the pros)," said assistant football coach David Clark.
"Knowing that I had a part in his journey would make
me feel good," said Clark. "But, knowing that he got to
where he wanted would be even sweeter."
NBA “one-and-done” mandate causing controversy
COACHES, FANS EXPRESS
PRESSURE PLACED ON STAR
PLAYERS, SEEK CHANGE
by JOHN KLUEPFEL
Jamal Sampson. Shawne Williams.
Rodney White. To those outside of the
basketball world, many ask, "Who?"
These players are identified as draft
busts that never fulfilled their potential
upon leaving for the National Basketball
Association after their freshman season.
In 2005, the NBA Collective Bargaining
Agreement established the rule that limits
players out of high school from entering
the draft. Players must be 19 years old and
be removed from high school for at least
This rule has spawned the term "one-
and-done" because many players attend
prestigious basketball colleges like
Kentucky, Duke and Indiana only to play
for one season.
"I think the one-and-done rule is the
most ridiculous rule in all of sports," said
volunteer assistant men's basketball coach
Will Cloyd. "If a rule is going to be in place
like that, then it should either be (that)
you enter the league out of high school, or
you go into college and it has to be for two
The NBA holds all the cards in the
one-and-done culture of professional
"I happen to dislike the one-and-done
rule enormously and wish it didn't exist,"
said NCAA President Mark Emmert
according to The Kansas City Star.
All eyes turn to David Stern, NBA
commissioner, for change.
"I think it would be a great idea to
change it to a two-and-done," said Stern
according to CBS Sports.
The National Basketball Player's
Association is accountable for the rule.
"Everyone says it's a pretty good idea
except the (NBPA), whose consent is
necessary to change it," said Stern.
While one year of basketball does
wonders for scouts, two years would help
immensely. Players would not be pressured
to go to the league or transfer because they
did not improve their draft stock after one
Even coaches dislike one-and-done.
"It's not my rule," said John Calipari,
coach for the 2011 NCAA Champion
Kentucky Wildcats according to AL.com.
"I don't even like the rule one-and-done.
Whether it's Carolina, Duke or Florida,
we're all in the same boat."
Duke's basketball program has a history
of players staying for four years, but some
players like Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers
leaped to the league after their freshman
"The NBA benefits tremendously from
college basketball, which essentially serves
as a free minor league system," said Robert
Malekoff, associate professor and chair of
sports studies in an email interview.
The NBA and NCAA are not the only
ones hurt by the rule. Fans lose connection
with their team and their favorite players
with the many early draft entrants.
J.J. Redick is an average NBA player, but
a Duke legend. What about Kyrie Irving?
Irving is a superstar in the NBA, but will
he be remembered as a Duke legend?
Hardly; he only played 11 games for the
"College is supposed to be about school
spirit," said junior basketball player Jared
Hinton. "Leaving after one season is not
The situation at Kentucky epitomizes
the problem fans face with the rule. The
Wildcats recruited one of the best freshmen
classes ever. But will it last for longer than
The number five, seven, eight, nine and
25 top recruits will attend the University
of Kentucky in the fall. The whole starting
lineup may go one-and-done after the
The next time your team recruits a big-
time player, don't get too attached. The
heart was not made to be broken.