WKU defeats Middle Tennessee 31-26

Middle Tennessee cornerback Marcus LaFrance (right) is called for a face mask on Western Kentucky wide receiver Jahcour Pearson during WKU’s 31-26 win over MTSU on Saturday at Houchens-Smith Stadium. For more photos and video, visit bgdailynews.com.

Jahcour Pearson is no longer part of Western Kentucky’s football program, head coach Tyson Helton announced Monday in his weekly Zoom conference.

“Jahcour Pearson will no longer be with us,” Helton said. “He will not be on the team. We love him and wish him the best of luck in the future.”

Helton did not provide a reason for Pearson’s departure.

Pearson announced with a note on Twitter later Monday he was entering the transfer portal, along with “Nothing But Love.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank WKU for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love and acquire my college degree. I would like to thank my teammates for the friendships we made and all the good times we had together. I’m gonna miss all my brothers and wish you guys the best of luck this year,” Pearson wrote. “Unfortunately I won’t be able to continue this season with the team and because of that I have entered the transfer portal to further pursue my football and academic career. I’m available to bring my talents and passion for football to a new chapter in my life. God Bless.”

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound redshirt senior entered the year as WKU’s leading returning receiver from a 9-4 2019 season. He had 804 yards and seven touchdowns on 76 receptions while appearing in all 13 games for the Hilltoppers and was named All-Conference USA Second Team. Pearson and Lucky Jackson were one of five duos to each record at least 75 receptions and 800 yards last season.

Through WKU’s first two games – losses to Louisville and Liberty – Pearson had nine receptions for 96 yards, with 29 yards on four receptions in Saturday’s 30-24 loss to the Flames.

Pearson is the second receiver to depart the team since the start of fall camp last month. Senior Jacquez Sloan, the second-leading returning receiver from last season, entered the transfer portal Sept. 8. Sloan had 297 yards and a touchdown on 34 receptions last season and finished the year with 628 all-purpose yards.

WKU’s leading receiver through two games has been Mitchell Tinsley, a transfer from Hutchinson Community College. Tinsley has recorded 107 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions. Its next-leading receiver is Craig Burt Jr. – also a Hutchinson product – who has four receptions for 69 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter Saturday.

Pearson, Tinsley and Burt were the only three to record receptions in the Hilltoppers’ first game, but Dalvin Smith, Joshua Simon and Xavier Lane each added two receptions against Liberty.

WKU is next scheduled to play at Middle Tennessee on Oct. 3.

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit bgdailynews.com.

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