June 22, 2009

Pickett pulls in first offer

A visit to Texas netted Cedar Park (Tex.) athlete Michael Pickettmore than just an "Remember the Alamo," t-shirt. The visit also gave him his first NCAA Division I football scholarship offer. Pickett attended the UTEP football camp this weekend and came away with a favorable impression of the school as well as the opportunity to play for the Miners.

"I went to their camp on Saturday and they told me they were going to play me at linebacker and safety. On Saturday we ran two 40's (40-yard dash) and I ran one at 4.49 and another at 4.51. I called them the next day and the coaches said they had good news and bad news for me. The bad news was I would have to go to school for another year. The good news is that they have a scholarship to offer me.

"The coaches there are pretty cool," Pickett added about UTEP. "They have an outside linebacker slash safety position and I think I could fit nicely into that at around 200 pounds. I like the program, but I still have to visit the school."

Pickett is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound athlete who has played safety, outside linebacker, wide receiver and will play quarterback for Vista Ridge High School this year. UTEP is his first scholarship offer, but Pickett said he has heard from every school in Texas except the Longhorns. He has also been a long-term target of Colorado State, which is still deciding whether or not to offer a scholarship.

"Colorado State is still sending me stuff," Pickett said. "I have been waiting on that offer for a while. I am supposed to talk to Coach Brown (CSU defensive line coach Scott Brown) this weekend about what is happening there and visits. I know I am going to take an official visit there because I liked it a lot when I visited last year."

In addition to his anticipated visit to Colorado State, Pickett said his summer will consist of camps at Houston, Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech as well as summer school, which he hopes will allow him to get on a college campus sooner. Pickett said he believes graduating early will get him on campus in time for a spring practice. He hopes that will equate to early playing time.

Of course the question of where Pickett plays once he gets to a college campus is also up-in-the-air. Pickett said some schools like him as a receiver because of his height. Others want him to play safety and some are also interested in him bulking up to play linebacker. Last season Pickett played outside linebacker accounting for 90 stops.

"It really doesn't matter to me, just playing at a DI school is what matters to me," Pickett said about his future position.

Pickett added he is in no hurry to declare a favorite or commit to a school, saying he and his parents have decided he will attend the camps he has set up, then go on his visits and take his time in the recruiting process.

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