football Edit

Breaking down 5-star Zacch Pickens commitment to South Carolina

South Carolina fans got some big news on Friday night to kick off Memorial Day Weekend when five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens committed to the Gamecocks over in-state rival Clemson and SEC rival Georgia. Pickens recruitment was cloaked with secrecy for the last few months as he basically stopped giving interviews and rumors spread on Friday night that he would reveal a decision following his spring game and he did exactly that, pledging to South Carolina despite living just down the road from Clemson’s campus.



Landing the top player in the state can never be understated but landing a player of Pickens caliber is huge for a number reasons. Not only does he bring the potential to make an instant impact on the Gamecocks defense, but South Carolina also kept him away from two major rivals in Clemson and Georgia. The groundwork for Pickens has been laid over months by the South Carolina staff and the team's successful 2017 season combined with the impressive play of the defensive line only helped convince Pickens and his family that Columbia was the place for him. Assuming Pickens maintains the top spot in the South Carolina rankings, it would mark the second time in the last three years that the Gamecocks have landed the Palmetto State's top player.


This one clearly stings more for Clemson than it does Georgia as the Tigers are right down the road from Pickens and were heavily involved in his recruitment over the past 12 months. But for astute Clemson fans will know that the Gamecocks seemed to have a leg up from early on in Pickens recruitment. Georgia seemed to have real momentum in its quest to land Pickens, recently hosting him for a visit that saw him publicly post about his time in Athens, including a selfie with coach Kirby Smart. There were also some rumblings earlier in the day on Friday that Pickens could commit to the Dawgs before he eventually announced for South Carolina. Nevertheless, Clemson and Georgia are still among the top programs in the country and while it's not easy to find another prospect like Pickens on the open market, there are still plenty of quality defensive linemen for both programs to target.