Marine, Clemson alumni to lead team down hill
COLUMBIA, SC- Each year Clemson University shows their military appreciation with a week of events and a military appreciation game. This year during the Military Appreciation game the school has selected honorary captains, active duty service members, to lead the team down the hill and toss the coin.
Capt. Alex Pearson, executive officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Station Columbia and Clemson alumni and football player, will be representing for the Marine Corps in leading the team down the hill.
Although scoring two touchdowns, being the first-team fullback and lettering two seasons, Pearson classified himself as one of the ‘working men’ on the team.
“It’s a very humbling feeling to be asked to lead the team,” said Pearson. “The honorary captains are normally players who have gone on to play in the NFL. I am honored to get to be a part of this moment.”
Pearson chose a different route after graduating Clemson then most of his peers. In 2008 he graduated Officer Candidate School and then went to lead Marines in two combat deployments as an infantry officer.
“I thought it was important this year not only to honor those who have served and gone on to leave the service, but to showcase former players who are currently serving today,” said Bob Mahoney, director, Tiger Letterwinners Association. “Current players need to know that service to the country looks like.”
The mental and physical toughness, leadership and comradery, was something Pearson learned before even becoming a Marine Corps officer.
“Nothing could have better prepared me,” said Pearson. “I apply many of the lessons I learned as a Clemson football player on a daily basis as a Marine. Clemson football is what set the foundation for me.”
Clemson students have come up with another way to show the comradery that Pearson spoke of with a “Purple Out” that was started last year to honor those service members who have earned the Purple Heart award.
“I am very proud of Clemson and what they do to honor those veterans,” said Pearson. “It says a lot about Clemson and the community around the school.