12/01/2018 11:59 AM -
By Mick Moninghoff
The Massachusetts Pirates professional arena football team in Worcester, MA has announced the signing of defensive back Reggie Wilkerson. The 5’-11” 185 lb. DB played three seasons at the University of Georgia and one year at Iowa State.
Wilkerson came out of North Marion High School in Citra. FL as a four star recruit and it appeared he was going to start for the Bulldogs in 2013, but an ACL injury in practice slowed his progress, but not his determination. After rehabilitation he was on the field for one game in 2014.
“I was a kid going through so much. It was tough, real tough, but I had my teammates by my side and the coaching staff stayed with me. I didn’t think I was going to come back healthier than I am now. It took a while, it really did. I still missed some time the next year. I didn’t think I was healthy enough. I didn’t trust it (the knee). To come back and be healthy again, move around and fly around is a blessing,” Wilkerson said.
After playing in 20 games at Georgia where he totaled 17 tackles and one interception he transferred as a graduate student in 2017 to Iowa State where he started in all 12 games, recorded 80 tackles and an interception. He was the leading tackler with 13 stops in the Cyclones upset victory over third ranked Oklahoma and his pass break up on Memphis’ final drive secured a victory in the Liberty Bowl. Since that time Wilkerson has continued to prepare to take the next step.
“I’ve been working out and staying in shape and eating well because you never know. An opportunity is only a phone call away. You have to get ready and stay ready,” he said.
This will his first taste of arena football and he admits it may take some getting used to.
“It’s going to be a transition during the first few weeks, but I’m ready to play, get back on the field and get back to the grind. It’s great to have the opportunity to play again and I’m ready to play. I’m a man to man cover guy and I love hitting people. When I came off my injury I moved to safety and I’ve been flourishing ever since. I still love playing corner as it comes naturally to me. I’m a technician. Everyone has to work on their technique every day. You can never relax on your technique because that’s your craft. Being a technician and a student of the game is one of the most important parts of being in the game,” Wilkerson added.
Jawad Yatim, President of the Pirates, likes the versatility that Wilkerson brings to the team.
"Reggie really turned it on last season at Iowa State posting some big games against #3 Oklahoma, #4 TCU, and Texas among others. He's had a knack for producing in big time environments so he shouldn't have any issues being able to play in our atmosphere. He's a real sound tackler tallying 80 tackles last season. He's played corner and safety so he's versatile. He's got good size for a defensive back so he can match up well with some of the bigger bodied receivers in the league. He transferred to Iowa State from Georgia and was able to adapt adequately and excelled in a different program. He'll have to do the same this year playing a different type of game in an organization he hasn't been around yet. He has that experience of being able to adapt and we'll expect him to do so quickly and get adjusted to our game and our style of play. I am fully confident he can do so and I'm looking forward to having Reggie come in and work hard and play well for us. He's a good addition to the Pirates organization," Yatim said.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2019 season will be on sale in September. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $200.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.