Jaguars running back Alvin Pearman has been trying to stay productive on and off the field during this offseason before reporting to training camp on July 27.
Since the 2006 season ended in January, Pearman has kept his plate full with an internship at Merrill Lynch in New York, a missions trip to Africa with Athletes in Action, a two-week real estate seminar at the University of Pennsylvania and participated in the inaugural NFL Broadcasting Boot Camp.
"I'm young and there are a lot of opportunities to be had," said Pearman, whose entering his third season with the Jaguars after being taking by the team in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. "With the position I am in, I would be foolish not to take advantage of each and every opportunity that I have."
Pearman learned how to stay productive one day following his rookie season as he was wandering the halls of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium looking for something to do.
"Just after my rookie season, I was around the facilities on my day off and stopped by the coaching offices to see if I could go over some film," recalled Pearman. "Pete Rodriguez, the special teams coach walked into the office. I asked Pete what he thought about watching some film with me because I had some time to kill.
"He looked up, in a wise matter of speaking, and said 'time to be productive Alvin, not time to kill but time to be productive.' It made perfect sense and that it's kind of the way I view my time now."
Pearman started his whirlwind offseason with a six-week internship at the Merrill Lynch Financial Management Company in New York. At Merrill Lynch, he did a wide variety of tasks that included anywhere from filing notebooks to writing analysis on China's current economic situation.
"This was a special interest of mine," Pearman said. "I expressed an interest in doing it to Bahati Van Pelt, the Jaguars Player Relations Manager, who put me in touch with Vaughn Bryant in the NFL Player Development office. Vaughan got me in touch with some banks for interviews and Merrill Lynch offered the best position to me, which helped accommodate my schedule.
"I did a wide variety of tasks while working under a young brilliant financial advisor named Mark Johnson. He kept me busy with a lot of different tasks to keep me motivated and challenged. "
After the internship with Merrill Lynch, Pearman joined teammate Stockar McDougle and former Jaguar Anthony Johnson for a 10-day missions trip in March to Africa with the Athletes in Action, a Christian-based sports ministry.
"We put on several American Football Camps in Nigeria and Togo," said Pearman, who first became involved with Athletes in Action while attending the University of Virginia and continued the association when he joined the Jaguars in 2005. "We were able spread the gospel to the camps, some club teams, community churches and along the cities and towns.
"They had so little, but were so loving, welcoming and had so much joy to share. They wanted you to leave with good feelings about who they are and what they are about. In this society, people are on the go and got a place to be so there is not that much interaction, but with their interaction they gave you great feelings every time."
Pearman didn't take time off after Africa as he participated in a two-week real estate seminar at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. It was part of the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial program.
"It was an awesome experience," said Pearman. "I was able to get into their game and get into their lingo. Since the seminar, I have been approached about some deals and able to get into them while not having someone talk over my head. I learned a great deal about the commercial and residential real estate, while also learning from some local realtors in town."
Recently, Pearman finished his productive offseason as one of 20 current and former players, including former Jaguar Bob Whitfield, that take part in the inaugural NFL Broadcasting Boot Camp from June 18 -21 at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. The camp was organized by the NFL Broadcasting Department.
They covered a wide range of sports topics with instructors from all of the NFL's broadcasting partners -- CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC, NFL Network, Sirius Satellite Radio, Westwood One Radio, plus local radio and TV stations.
"I applied for the camp because it was another area that I had an interest in," Pearman said. "The NFL has a great staff to help current players experience new careers and people said I should get into it as a kid, but all I ever wanted to do is play football. I have been around the sport all my life and will continue to be around in some capacity after I'm done, so if I can't play then I want to talk about it."
At the three-day camp, the group was able to learn and gets hands-on work in all aspects of the broadcasting industry such as tape study, editing, show preparation, radio production, control room operation, studio preparation, production meetings, field reporting and game preparation. Each player taped segments as a studio and game analyst, while also taking part in networking sessions with television executives.
"It was incredible," said Pearman. "They had a staff to student ratio that was like 3-to-1. They had executives from all the major networks including analysts, play-by-play people and studio personnel to help us out. We got so much feedback everyday from people in the business that are doing very well. Overall, we got better and improved each time."
Pearman and the players benefited from more than 400 years of broadcasting experience from their instructors. Some of the instructors on hand to lend their expertise were current CBS NFL Today host James Brown, ESPN's Ron Jaworski and former NFL Head Coach Dick Vermeil (NFL Network ). Other notable broadcasters included Ian Eagle (CBS), Gus Johnson (CBS), Adam Schefter (NFL Network) and Solomon Wilcots (CBS/NFL Network).
"I was unaware of how much preparation people in broadcasting and the studio do for a game," Pearman said. "They spend weeks studying and watching film for a game. I spoke with Jaws (Ron Jaworski) about it and he told me that he has spent more time studying film now as an analyst than he did playing with the Philadelphia Eagles. It makes sense because when you see him on television, he knows the game of football."
Even though the job at Merrill Lynch, a mission trip, the real-estate business and broadcasting are a far cry from his sports medicine degree from Virginia, it's exactly what Pearman wants to occupy his time.
"I'm a firm believer in the fact that people can do anything they want to if they put their minds to it," said Pearman. "It doesn't matter what background you come from, all that matters is that if you are vulnerable enough to put yourself in a situation that you can potentially learn from and enjoy. That situation may not work out, but you have to take that risk to maximize yourself."