Nov 09, 2017
Chad Pinson has been a mainstay on the Wesleyan defense over the last four years. The Cincinnati, Ohio native is a senior leader in a class that has been instrumental some major program gains for Bobcat Football.
"Chad is everything you want in a student-athlete," Wesleyan head coach Del Smith said. "He is a team first guy that does well in the classroom, practices hard, and has the on-field stats to back it up"
Pinson has appeared in 40 games as a Bobcat, and has produced some steady numbers; 138 career tackles (98 solo, 40 assists), nine tackles for loss, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. The physical and hard-nosed defensive back is a rock in Wesleyan's dynamic defense that currently sits second in the Mountain East in points allowed (21.2).
This Saturday, Wesleyan faces West Virginia State in a battle of two 5-5 teams fighting for a winning season. The 1:00 kickoff will be Pinson's last a Bobcat, and the significance of the season is not lost on the senior.
"The group of guys in our senior class have kept it together and stayed close through some ups and downs in the program," Pinson said. "Getting a winning season would be an amazing accomplishment in such a short time with this staff. Coach Smith told us, that even though we will be gone whenever that championship trophy comes back to Wesleyan, we will be remembered as playing a major role in the turnaround."
As a youth growing up in Cincinnati, Pinson played sports the year round. He played baseball as a centerfielder until sixth grade, then settled in as a football and basketball player in middle school and high school.
Pinson attended Reading High School in Cincinnati, one of several small high schools in the immediate metro area of the Queen City. In a graduation class of 105, Pinson was a standout in basketball as a shooting guard, and in football as a safety and running back. After posting some 100-yard games on offense as a senior, he was moved to receiver after some injuries to the RHS lineup.
"I enjoyed playing offense, but I was much better on the defensive side of the ball," Pinson conceded. "I really enjoyed playing defensive back, and that is where I got a lot of attention from college recruiters."
There were up to ten colleges that were after the Reading star, including in-state power Ashland. But in the end, the final decision was between two MEC schools; Wesleyan and the University of Charleston.
"My visit to the campus here is what put me Wesleyan on top when it came to signing day," Pinson said. "The campus and the football team here just made me feel like this would be the best option in terms of getting a great D-II college experience."
Current Wesleyan Assistant Tony Testa was one of the staff members that drove to Cincinnati and had dinner with Pinson and his family as part of a home visit. A relationship was built with the staff that ultmately helped land the defensive back.
As a freshman and sophomore, Pinson got reps in at safety and produced 37 tackles over the two years, inlcuding three tackles for loss as a freshman. His junior year, he became a centerpiece of the defensive unit on Coach Smith's first team, and was second on the squad 61 tackles and two interceptions.
This season he has continued that steady play, and pushed his career tackle total well beyond 100. His senior season has also produced his first touchdown, a 63-yard sprint on a fake punt against Urbana.
"It is an automatic pre-call. The coaches give me the green light to call the fake if it is there," Pinson said. "That game it was there, and the hole opened right up."
"The ultimate compliment you can get as a player is when coaches from the opposing teams recognize your style of play," Smith said. "Week in and week out, #23 is complimented by our opponent's coaches."
Pinson is set to graduate this year with a degree in Business Administration after four years. While his long-term goal is to someday own his own business, his immediate plans are to help his dad who works in the gas business. He is planning to search for some possible internships in the Cincinnati area next summer.
Before that first paycheck in the real world, Pinson has history to focus on this weekend. He and his senior teammates are looking for their swan song to be leaving Ross Field with a win over State...a successful first step to the Renaissance of the proud Bobcat Football program.
( Photo Courtesy Taken By Brian Bergstrom )