GREENSBORO, N.C. - Former Guilford College offensive lineman Joe Pearson '13 recently signed a contract with the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the Professional Indoor Football League. He is the first Guilford Player to sign a professional or semi professional football contract since Josh Vogelbach '08, who signed with the Bloomington Extreme in 2009.
Since exhausting his college eligibility in 2012, Pearson graduated from Guilford and has participated in various professional combines and all-star games. Pearson contacted many teams prior to his engagement with the Steelhawks. The 6-2, 275-pound lineman was among 76 NCAA Division III and NAIA football seniors to play in the Dream Bowl All-Star Game last January in Salem, Va. He has also been working out regularly at Proehlific Park in Greensboro, which is owned and operated by former NFL and Wake Forest receiver Ricky Proehl.
Pearson concluded his two-year Guilford career with 18 career appearances and 17 starting assignments on the offensive line. He played in all 10 games of his senior season with nine starts. A 2011 Second Team All-Old Dominion Athlete Conference (ODAC) performer, he started for an offense that ranked third among the league's passing leaders with an average of 261.1 yards per game. Pearson blocked for classmate Mike Williams '13, who ranked seventh among ODAC rushing leaders with 717 rushing yards and had three 100-yard rushing games. Pearson also served as a Quakers' long snapper.
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks are based in Bethlehem, Pa., and share Stabler Arena with another local team, the Lehigh Outlaws. The Steelhawks open the 2014 season with training camp in March.