Wisconsin Football: Four Badgers who need more playing time

MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 11: Bradrick Shaw (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 11: Bradrick Shaw (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Wisconsin football Reggie Pearson
ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 13: Shea Patterson #2 of the Michigan Wolverines takes off on a first half run in front of Reggie Pearson #7 of the Wisconsin Badgers on October 13, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Reggie Pearson

One of the bright spots of the day against Michigan came from Reggie Pearson who was flying around the field like his hair was on fire. He looked like he had an extra level of speed compared to the rest of the defense. He made a few mistakes throughout the night, but the positive plays he made stood out. There’s just something about safeties from Michigan.

In a secondary that’s growing weaker seemingly every snap with injuries, getting a strong showing from Pearson is great news. He and Eric Burrell both had strong games and are now guys that the coaching staff should feel comfortable playing moving forward. Neither should unseat Scott Nelson or D’Cota Dixon, but both should be able to give solid snaps in one of the biggest areas of weakness of the defense.

The only concern for Pearson is he may still be a redshirt candidate. The new redshirt rule allows players to participate in any four games throughout the season while still being able to save a year of eligibility via redshirt. So far, Pearson has participated in one contest. It’s likely he’ll play in at least the next game or two while the rest of the secondary heals up. If that goes according to plan, Pearson may understandably be shut down for the year.

However, if he continues to play the way he did in Ann Arbor, I’m all for keeping him in the rotation on defense. His athleticism and intensity is something that defense needs. With the rest of the season being such an uphill climb, Pearson would be a huge help.