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Juco WR Pearson signs with Vols

After being committed to Tennessee for almost two months, Lavon Pearson became the first member of the Vols’ 2014 signing class.

Four-star wide receiver Lavon Pearson of Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., signed with Tennessee on Wednesday.

The four-star sophomore wide receiver from Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., signed with Tennessee on Wednesday morning, making his college decision official on the first day of the early junior-college signing period.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Pearson became the first of the Vols’ 34 commitments for the 2014 class to sign a binding National Letter of Intent with Tennessee.

A 2010 graduate of Denbigh High School in Newport News, Va., he’s ranked the nation’s No. 4 junior-college player and No. 2 juco wide receiver in the 247Sports Composite, which equally weighs prospect rankings and ratings from major recruiting media outlets.

Pearson, who plans to join the Vols in early January as one of more than a dozen early enrollees from their 2014 class, committed to Tennessee on Oct. 20 near the end of his official visit to Knoxville after getting one of his first scholarship offers from the Vols. He chose Tennessee over offers from Utah and Illinois.

A number of other teams — including Florida State, Oregon, Arkansas, Miami, Arizona State, California and Akron — reached out to Pearson after he committed to the Vols, but he never wavered on his original decision.

“I think Oregon came at me the hardest,” he said Tuesday. “They really were going to fly out and try to see my mom and everything and talk to her about it, but I stopped picking up the phone. I know that’s kind of mean, but I stopped picking up the phone because they were blowing up my phone.

“I told (Tennessee) coach (Butch) Jones I’m not going to be dirty, because I gave him my word. When I give you my word, that’s my word. (Oregon) really, really wanted me. I’ve had a lot of schools offer me, but I told my coach to let them know I was already (committed).”

Pearson, who will have three years to play his final two seasons, caught 93 passes for 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns during his sophomore season at Feather River, earning the Mid-Empire Conference’s offensive MVP award.

He said he expects to make an immediate impact on the Vols’ offense next year.

“I’m not going to say they told me I can start, but they said I can come in and have a lot of playing time,” Pearson said. “It’s all on me. How are you going to go through the spring, and what are you going to do? How are you going to get better? How are you going to show that you can be a star?

“I told them I’ve got a good work ethic, so I’m going to outwork everybody. ... I’m going to just go to Tennessee and just ball out. That’s what I’ve got to do.”

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