Police said they clocked Pearce traveling 63 mph in a 35 mph zone and that his vehicle had an expired North Carolina temporary tag. Once Pearce was pulled over, police determined that he was driving on a suspended license out of North Carolina and said he failed to provide identification or proof of insurance.
According to the report, Pearce had to be told multiple times to turn off his vehicle and to step out of the vehicle. Police said they then explained to Pearce that his vehicle was being towed and asked if there was anything illegal inside or any personal property he needed. At that point, police said they instructed Pearce to stand at the front of the police car with assisting officers.
The officer said that as he went back to look in the front seat of Pearce's vehicle, Pearce began to walk back toward his vehicle and was detained by the assisting officers without incident. Pearce was then arrested and his vehicle impounded, the report said.
Pearce was transported to Knox County Detention Facility and charged with speeding, driving on a suspended license, failure to present insurance, registration not properly displayed and improper window tinting.
A spokesperson for the university released a statement saying, "We are aware of the incident involving James Pearce Jr., and we are awaiting more information."
Pearce, a 6-foot-5, 242-pound sophomore, led Tennessee in tackles for loss (13), sacks (8.5) and quarterback hurries (15) this season. His 8.5 sacks ranked third among SEC players.
Tennessee, ranked No. 21 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, will face No. 17 Iowa on Jan. 1 in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.