Pearson on playing offense and defense at Georgia State

It’s perhaps fitting that in Bill Curry’s final season of coaching football he has been forced to do something that hasn’t occurred much since his days as a center and linebacker at Georgia Tech: use a two-way player.

Because of injuries, Georgia State was forced to play Drew Pearson at tight end and defensive end in last week’s 28-21 loss at James Madison. There’s a chance, depending upon the injury status of defensive ends of C.J. Stephens and Melvin King, that Pearson will do the double against Old Dominion on Saturday in the Georgia Dome.

Using a two-way player is something that Curry said he’s never before been forced to do. Pearson caught one pass for 10 yards, but didn’t have a tackle. He was in on 64 plays, 18 on defense and 48 on offense.

“It’s nothing really difficult,” Pearson said. “I played offense and defense in high school so I had a pretty good idea what to do.”

Pearson, a redshirt sophomore, remembered the fundamentals of the defensive end position from his time at Pepperell High in Lindale. He said he prefers to play offense because that’s what he has been focusing on for the past four years, but he is enjoying getting to “fly around” on defense.

“It’s definitely a great feeling to be able to play both ways because not many people get to do that, especially nowadays with so much emphasis on one position and being great at that,” he said.

Stephens and King practiced on Tuesday. If they can go, Curry said Pearson will likely move back to offense, but they are going to have him ready to go just in case. Gabe Hampton also played both offense and defense against the Dukes, but he didn’t play defense more than a handful of times.

Curry said he didn’t offer either player any advice on switching back and forth.

“I honestly didn’t access that file,” he said. “Maybe it’s buried too deeply, too painfully.”

Curry then told a story about his days with the Packers, when he said Vince Lombardi told him he would give him a shot at linebacker. That opportunity never happened. But when Curry moved to the Colts, Don Shula gave him a chance to play middle linebacker.

” … I proved I should play center,” he said. “Drew did a whole lot better on his defensive stint than I did.”

Howard dismissed

Cornerback Isaiah Howard has been dismissed from the football team for a violation of team rules.

Howard sent out a series of what would be considered negative tweets last week after athletic director Cheryl Levick signed a five-year contract extension. The tweets have since been removed. Howard, a redshirt sophomore, had a history of critical tweets.

Howard joins kicker Christian Benvenuto, end Qwontez Mallory, back-up quarterback Bo Schlechter and linebacker Dexter Moody in the list of players dismissed since January for violating team rules.

Defensive progress

A week after playing what defensive coordinator Anthony Midget called the most complete game of the year, Georgia State must now prepare for a different type of test against the Monarchs.

Villanova and James Madison were both run-based offenses. While the Wildcats ran over the Panthers, Midget’s charges bounced back to limit the Dukes to 340 total yards and 21 points. Seven more points were scored on a blocked punt.

Midget said assistant coach Jason French told him before the game that the players seemed ready to win after a series of disappointing performances fueled by inconsistency and injuries.

“We felt it from the kids,” Midget said. “It was the same thing we had in the spring with the injuries, (it was a feeling that) we’ve been here before.”

The Monarchs (7-1, 4-1 Colonial Athletic Association) are led by Atlanta native and quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who has passed for 3,159 yards and 24 touchdowns this year in ODU’s quick, spread offense.

Midget said this week the Panthers must get to Heinicke, who has had passing games of 730, 492 and 486 yards this season.

“This week will be a totally different monster than the past two weeks,” Midget said. “It’s going to be speed, speed, speed. We have to get pressure without blitzing a lot.”

Offensive progress

Offensive coordinator John Bond said the key for the Panthers against ODU will be to hold on to the ball: both in the running game and in avoiding turnovers.

Georgia State running back Travis Evans fumbled on the first play from scrimmage in last week’s loss at JMU. It was the only turnover of the game but it led to a Dukes’ touchdown.

Evans bounced back to lead the team with 98 yards. Rosevelt Watson added 30.

“We did a good job back there,” Bond said. “I think they had a little something to prove. They were anxious to show what they can do and they did a good job.”

The Monarchs are allowing an average of 28.2 points and 393.1 yards per game.

Should the Panthers fall behind, Bond has no doubt they will keep playing.

“The thing I’ve been most pleased with is no matter what has happened or far we’ve gotten down the kids have battled to the very end,” he said. “Times when we’ve been trying to get the second-team in and the guys are still fighting. They always compete and I’m proud of that. We’re down 28-7 (at JMU) and we are still in it. We go down 28-21 and we are dying to get the ball back.”

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Hurricane Sandy not affecting ODU’s preparation for Georgia State

21 comments Add your comment


October 30th, 2012
1:00 pm

Best luck Sat. ODU missing practice could be a plus for us – take what we can get.

The Queen of GSU Athletics

October 30th, 2012
1:36 pm

Let them eat cake!


October 30th, 2012
1:43 pm

If you feel like you don’t get to hit at TE, you’re probably doing it wrong.


October 30th, 2012
2:11 pm


October 30th, 2012
1:43 pm

You would have had to play the game to understand.

Tired of the AJC not teling the kids stories

October 30th, 2012
3:43 pm

Howards tweets on the AD were tweets exposing the truth..These guys are basically being treated as slaves. The scholarship kids get a check at the beginning of the semester for $216.00 but used to receive $258.00 A MONTH.. Now theres 5 months in a semester, 10 in a whole school year, and they have 68 kids on scholarship, do the math. Things arent being ran properly at state, but nobody looks into that,its the kids fault for not wanting to condone in slavery.. Write about something real doug

Passion of the Panther

October 30th, 2012
6:46 pm

1/2 of the student body is on Pell Grants … building the GSU football fantasy on the backs of the poor

Orlando Panther

October 30th, 2012
7:03 pm

Doug, if what is written above is true or might be true, why don’t you look into that and see what comes up and put together a story that either makes the haters look bad or exposes something?

Doug Roberson

October 30th, 2012
7:59 pm

Which comment, orlando?

Go Panthers!!

October 31st, 2012
9:49 am

Doug, pretty sure Orlando was referring to “Tired of the AJC not reporting…”.

Doug Roberson

October 31st, 2012
10:30 am

I don’t know what Howard was referring to regarding supplements. I do know that Georgia State reduced the amount of monthly meal money that athletes were receiving compared to last year because this year the cafeterias are open seven days a week (they were open five last year), which means the athletes and students can eat there, rather than needing to go out. The amount is a formula dictated by the NCAA, I believe.

Tired of the AJC not teling the kids stories

October 31st, 2012
10:55 am

I know someone close to Howard Doug, and what howard meant was since they’ve been in school nobody has gained weight and we have no players above 300.. They are given “farmers milk” after workouts while other programs who we are constantly compared to such as UTSA, ODU etc are giving their kids muscle milk.. Why cut the kids checks if you arent putting that money towards something to benefit the kids.? Thats what howard meant by those comments, not be negative. Just a cry for help to a lady who seems to have everything.

Tired of the AJC not teling the kids stories

October 31st, 2012
11:01 am

&& doug the one of the cafeterias were open last year and the kids were given the CHOICE of having a 5 day meal plan or 7 day meal plan. This year the kids were forced. So why give the option one year and then not give them the choice this year. Bad money management by the athletic department probably forced them to do it. because with our economy, how does this institution afford to give her a raise based on the kids performance and not provide the things for them to get better.?


October 31st, 2012
12:42 pm

Really Tired of the AJC not teling the kids stories. There is nothing wrong on expecting students to eat in the school cafeterias. Your big gripe is that you and other athletes were taken away something you had taken for granted. Now you feel aggrieved and I can understand that but you have to face reality that this is way it is going to be and more than likely PMB put his stamp of approval on it. Now is the time to get used to it and move on. Don’t like? Go to another school.

Tired of the ajc not telling the kids stories

October 31st, 2012
12:59 pm

Ridge runner.. What you are saying would get through to me if the food in the cafeteria on the regular wasn’t borderline dog food.. Really do you think these kids would complain about free food if it was somewhat decent.. You’re just trying to justify the BS system PMB and ADCL are running.. Ok cut the kids check for what ever reason but at least provide food for them that’s going to sit on their stomach, not go through them and have them on the toilet soon as they stop eating.. Maybe you should know what you’re talking about before you tell these kids to just shut up and move on..

Chicken Bone

October 31st, 2012
1:20 pm

Interesting thoughts concerning the nutrition of our athletes. Like to see a story on this with comparisons to UGA and GA TECH. What about the rest of our teams. No athletic dining room? Curious about how we are feeding our athletes. Never thought about it………

Doug Roberson

October 31st, 2012
1:48 pm

Pollard doesn’t use Muscle Milk because he prefers that the athletes use the real thing. It’s my understanding it’s not a financial decision, it’s a performance decision.
As for the quality of the cafeteria food….I’ve never eaten there. Perhaps I should. I’ve been in there and it seems like there are a lot of choices. I don’t know if any of them are good.
NCAA rules permit only one training table meal per day.

Here is a copy of the NCAA rules:
(c) Training Table Meals. An institution may provide only one training table meal per day to a student-athlete during the academic year on those days when regular institutional dining facilities are open (see Bylaw A student-athlete who does not receive institutional athletically related financial aid covering the full cost of board, including a walk-on or partial scholarship recipient, may purchase one training table meal per day at the same rate that the institution deducts from the board allowance of student-athletes who receive
athletically related financial aid covering board costs pursuant to Bylaw (Adopted: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/96, Revised: 11/1/01 effective 8/1/02, 5/8/06, 4/26/07)
(d) Meals Incidental to Participation.
(1) Missed Meal Due to Practice Activities. A student-athlete who is not receiving athletically related financial aid (e.g., walk-on) may receive the benefit of a training-table meal during the permissible playing and practice season in those instances in which the student-athlete’s schedule is affected by involvement in practice activities, provided the student-athlete previously has paid for the same meal (e.g., dinner) at an institutional dining facility. (Revised: 5/9/06)
(2) Meals in Conjunction with Home Competition. All student-athletes are permitted to receive meals
at the institution’s discretion beginning with the evening before competition and continuing until they
are released by institutional personnel. An institution shall not provide cash to student-athletes in lieu of meals during this time period. An institution, at its discretion, may provide a meal or cash (not to exceed $15), but not both, to student-athletes at the time of their release by institutional personnel. (Revised:
4/25/02, 4/29/04, 5/2/05, 5/9/06, 12/12/06, 4/24/08 effective 8/1/08)
(3) Meals in Conjunction with Away-from-Home Competition. An institution may provide meals to
student-athletes in conjunction with away-from-home competition pursuant to one of the following options:
(i) All student-athletes are permitted to receive a pregame or postgame meal as a benefit incidental to participation in addition to regular meals (or meal allowances per Bylaw An institution,
at its discretion, may provide cash, not to exceed $15, in lieu of a postgame meal; or (Revised: 5/9/06,
4/24/08 effective 8/1/08)
(ii) All student-athletes are permitted to receive meals at the institution’s discretion from the time the team is required to report on call for team travel until the team returns to campus. If a student-athlete does not use team travel to return to campus, he or she may receive meals at the institution’s discretion up to the point he or she is released from team-related activities by the appropriate institutional authority. An institution shall not provide cash to student-athletes in lieu of meals under this option before their release.
An institution may provide a meal or cash, (not to exceed $15), but not both, to a student-athlete
at the time of his or her release by the institutional authority, regardless of whether he or she uses team
travel to return to campus. (Adopted: 4/24/08 effective 8/1/08, Revised: 9/24/09)

Doug Roberson

October 31st, 2012
1:50 pm

Tired of the ajc not telling the kids stories

October 31st, 2012
2:28 pm

Doug, I won’t insult your intelligence because you do a great job, but you are obviously being told something different then what pollard has told the kids.. I repeat I know someone within the organization and theyve asked repeatedly for help from pollard to gain weight to be able to compete and he has told them repeatedly that they cannot afford it as a football team.. But the baseball team had muscle milk last year so that statement “pollard doesn’t want them drinking it” doesn’t make sense if one sport has previously taken it.. && baseball only had it because they don’t have the amount of people as football which is understood.. So if you cut their checks, what is that money going towards in the athletic department or even the football team

Go Panthers!!

October 31st, 2012
5:55 pm

Clearly PT lunatic fringe.


October 31st, 2012
8:49 pm

Go Panthers!!: Clearly PT lunatic fringe.

Say what??? Don’t think so. While PT has some different and controversial thinkers I have not heard a breath of anything like this there.

This might be something worth researching Doug.


November 4th, 2012
2:47 am

I have to agree about my child have loss a lot of weight my child was 220 now some where around 207 and he have only been there 3 month. so i dont no whats going on up there he always say mom i’m good but just looking at him he is not good.every time i see my child i say you look smaller every time i see you and he always say mom im good so what ever going on it need to be correct very soon.