football

Three-star athlete in no hurry

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Three-star jack-of-all-trades athlete A.J. Pickens (5-11, 168, 4.5) from Chino Hills (Calif.) Don Lugo has the versatility that D-I schools love. Pickens can help a team in a variety of ways and there are seven schools that have already offered Pickens a full ride.
Pickens has offers on the table from Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington, San Diego State, Utah and Fresno State.
A decision a school looks to be somewhere in the future.
"I haven't set up any visits yet and I don't really have any favorites at this time," Pickens said. "If I had to name a top three, then they would be Arizona, Oregon State and Fresno State.
"I like Arizona's coaching staff," Pickens said. "Everyone on the staff is really cool. I really liked Arizona's campus when I went there on an unofficial visit a little while ago.
"I went to Oregon State's football camp and the coaches there were also very cool," Pickens said. "The camp went well and I named MVP of the camp. I liked Oregon State's facilities. Everything about Oregon State was cool.
"I like Fresno State because my dad played football there," Pickens said. "The head coach (Pat Hill) told me I could make a big impact on their team just like my dad. I've been to the school and I like the Fresno area.
What is Pickens looking for in a school?
"Academics are first and foremost in my consideration when choosing a college," Pickens said. "I'm not going to travel too far from home. I would like to play as close to home as I can.
Some schools are recruiting Pickens as a receiver while other schools like him as an athlete and there is a good reason why he is being recruited as an athlete.
As a junior, Pickens lined up at running back, wide receiver and cornerback. While he'll probably line up mostly as a wide receiver as a senior, don't be surprised if Don Lugo uses his versatility and lines him up at several positions.
From his running back position in 2006, Pickens rushed for 880 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a receiver, he caught 21 passes for 316 yards while averaging 15.1 yards per catch and three receiving touchdowns.
On defense, Pickens accounted for 24 tackles from his cornerback position while the opposition rarely threw his way.
Pickens also an outstanding kick returner who racked up 370 return yards including a 99 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Pickens is a member of the Rivals.com California Top 100 for the class of 2008 landing as the Golden State's No. 61 prospect at any position.
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