| Dakarai Pearson
5-10 · 185
Dayton, Texas (Dayton)
An athletic and talented former prep quarterback who developed into one of the Big 12's top safeties ... started the first six games of 2003 before missing the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury ... played in 44 career games, including bowl games, and started 31 ... posted 187 tackles, nine interceptions and 21 PBUs during his career ... tallied 40 tackles, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in six games in 2003 ... started all 13 games at free safety and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors from the Austin American-Statesman as a junior ... possessed great instincts and a knack for the ball ... tallied 62 tackles, six interceptions (was T-No. 6 on UT's single-season list) and 13 PBUs in 2002 ... was ranked 21st nationally with his 0.5 interceptions per game ... played in all 13 games and started two contests in 2001 as UT's primary nickel back ... a second-team Freshman All-America selection by The Sporting News in '00 ... established himself as one of the most productive freshmen defenders in UT history that season ... entered the campaign as a nickel back but worked his way into the starting lineup in the third game ... played in all 12 contests, including the Holiday Bowl, starting the final 10 games at free safety ... shared the team's Outstanding Defensive Newcomer Award ... finished the year with 47 tackles (40 solo), three interceptions (T-No. 2 on UT's freshman list) and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Started the first six games at free safety before succumbing to a shoulder injury ... shared UT's Outstanding Defensive Back Award ... registered 40 tackles, one PBU, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery ... posted 10 stops in UT's season opener against New Mexico State ... recorded eight tackles and returned a fumble 77 yards for a touchdown against Arkansas ... tied the team-high with 11 tackles and a forced fumble at Rice enabling him to share the Mike Campbell "Across the Bow" Defensive Player of the Week honors ... notched three tackles and a PBU against Tulane ... had six stops against No, 1 Oklahoma.
Started all 13 games at free safety ... earned second-team All-Big 12 honors from the Austin American-Statesman ... tabbed UT's Most Consistent Defensive Player ... posted a team-leading six picks this year (T-No. 6 on UT's single-season chart) and his 0.5 interceptions per game ranked third in the Big 12 and tied for 21st in the NCAA ... has returned those six picks for 88 yards ... ranked third on the team with 13 pass breakups and eighth with 62 tackles ... also returned four punts for 35 yards ... key member of a Longhorns defense that led the Big 12 and ranked eighth in the NCAA in pass defense (165.2 ypg.), second in the conference and seventh in the nation in pass efficiency defense (96.1 rtg.), third in the league and eighth in the country in scoring defense (16.3 ppg.) and third in the Big 12 and 16th nationally in total defense (307.7 ypg.) ... also helped the defense record 22 interceptions (No. 2 Big 12; T-No. 4 NCAA) ... a three-time recipient of UT's Mike Campbell "Across the Bow" Defensive Player of the Game award (vs. North Texas, vs. Houston and vs. No. 17 Iowa State) ... recorded a career-high 12 tackles and two interceptions against No. 2 Oklahoma ... tallied a team-high nine tackles (four solo) in UT's shutout victory at Tulane ... posted seven stops against No. 17 Iowa State ... registered seven tackles, one TFL and two PBUs at No. 17 Kansas State ... had five tackles, a fumble recovery and his sixth interception of the season against Texas A&M ... racked up six stops in the Cotton Bowl against LSU ... added five tackles at Texas Tech ... posted four solo tackles, a pair of interceptions and three pass breakups at North Carolina ... registered three tackles and an interception as UT limited Houston to just 152 total yards of offense ... added four tackles in the season opener against North Texas.
Played in all 13 games, including the Holiday Bowl and started two contests as a nickel back ... started at Baylor and against No. 3 Oklahoma ... registered 38 tackles (22 solo), one TFL, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery (for a TD) ... UT's secondary ranked fourth nationally with a 88.0 pass efficiency rating, gave up just 4.77 yards per attempt (led NCAA) and allowed only six TD passes (tied for second-lowest nationally) ... had a career-high 11 tackles and recovered a fumble in the end zone for his second career touchdown at Baylor ... named UT's Mike Campbell Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in that contest ... registered six stops in UT's first meeting with No. 14 Colorado ... had six tackles and a pass breakup against North Carolina ... posted four tackles and two TFLs at Texas A&M.
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN (2000)
Played in all 12 games, including the Holiday Bowl, and started the final 10 contests ... a second-team Freshman All-America selection by The Sporting News ... shared UT's Outstanding Defensive Newcomer Award ... registered 47 tackles, three TFLs (-10 yards), a sack (-7 yards) and three INTs (T-No. 2 on UT's single-season freshman chart) ... also recorded five PBUs (No. 10 on UT's single-season frosh list) and two fumble recoveries ... helped lead a Texas defense that ranked first nationally in pass efficiency defense (88.3 rating) ... helped lead a secondary that held opponents to just eight TD passes (second-lowest nationally) and 5.36 yards per pass attempt (third-lowest nationally) ... recorded a career-high nine solo tackles against No. 8 Oregon in the Holiday Bowl ... posted a then-career-high eight stops against No. 22 Texas A&M ... registered seven tackles, an interception and two PBUs at Kansas ... had seven stops, an INT and a fumble recovery at Colorado ... tallied three tackles, returned his first career interception 42 yards for a TD and recovered a fumble against Houston (first career start) ... posted five tackles against Baylor and No. 10 Oklahoma ... had four stops and a sack in the season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette ... redshirted in 1999.
Coached by Jerry Stewart at Dayton High ... saw action at QB, RB, WR and CB as a prepster ... tabbed a 1998 honorable mention All-USA quarterback by USA Today ... named honorable mention all-state (4A) in 1998 ... a three-time first-team all-district performer ... led Dayton to a 10-0 regular season record and a 12-1 final mark in 1998 ... passed for 1,765 yards and seven TDs, rushed for 1,435 yards and 25 TDs and posted 317 receiving yards and six TDs en route to district MVP honors as a senior ... defensively, he posted 90 tackles and five interceptions (four returned for TDs) in 1998 ... also returned three interceptions for scores as a junior.
Born 9/10/80 in San Jose, Calif. ... full name is Dakarai Ali Pearson ... majored in liberal arts ... father, Derbe, played baseball at Texas Tech ... lists collecting football cards among his hobbies.
Year G/GS TT (Solo) Sacks TFL INT (Yds.-TD) PBU FC FR High
2003 6/6 40 (20) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0-0) 1 1 1 11/Rice
2002 13/13 62 (27) 0 (0) 1 (-1) 6 (88-0) 13 0 1 12/OU
2001 12/2 38 (22) 0 (0) 1 (-4) 0 (0-0) 2 0 1* 11/BU
2000 11/9 47 (40) 1 (-7) 3 (-10) 3 (70-1) 5 0 2 9/Ore
Career 42/30 187 (109) 1 (-7) 5 (-15) 9 (158-1) 21 1 5 12/OU
12 vs. Oklahoma (Jr.)
2 vs. Oklahoma (Jr.); at North Carolina (Jr.)
3 at North Carolina (Jr.)