OL Dietzen returns to Wisconsin; S Pearson not on roster

Wisconsin offensive lineman Jon Dietzen is back with the Badgers, 19 months after announcing his retirement because of numerous injuries.He has one year of eligibility remaining.Dietzen’s name appeared on the roster released Wednesday. And while it was a surprise, Badgers coach Paul Chryst told reporters the return has been a long time coming. And Dietzen has been helped by having the extra time with the season delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.”This has been kind of a year in the works,” Chryst said. “The more time we’ve had, Dietz is probably the one that’s probably benefited from it, it in many ways. He’s trained, but he hasn’t played for a while.”Chryst divulged less about safety Reggie Pearson, whose name was not on the roster in another surprise. Chryst said the redshirt sophomore has not been given the OK from doctors to play but did not disclose more about his condition.”In the offseason, found something that was a concern. For this year, he wasn’t cleared to play. That’s why he’s not on the roster right now, because he wouldn’t be cleared,” Chryst said.Dietzen does have the go-ahead, though. After sitting out last season, his most recent appearance came in the Pinstripe Bowl, a 35-3 win over Miami on Dec. 27, 2018.The aftermath of injuries to his hips and ankles sent Dietzen into retirement, but Chryst said the 6-foot-6, 319-pound lineman began feeling better last fall and has been training for a potential return over the past year.”It’s been fun to see him, truly, healthy as he’s ever been, quite honestly. Dietz, he’s a talented football player. I think the question will be … the thing he hasn’t done is played football. So maybe not just that (first) day, what’s it feel like the day after that? Or when you start stacking two or three together?” Chryst said.

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