Posted: 7:12 pm Friday, April 3rd, 2009

FSU recruit Fred Pickett leaves Glades Central for Pahokee 

By Jason Lieser

The high school hot stove league continues.


Glades Central junior Fred Pickett, one of the Raiders’ best wide receivers last year, transferred to Pahokee and gives the Blue Devils Division I player.

“His mother is from Pahokee and he transferred about two months ago,” Pahokee coach Blaze Thompson said. “I’d really never met him before, so it was kind of a surprise. He’s a hell of a player.”

Several colleges agree. Pickett (5-11, 170) already has offers from West Virginia, Florida State, Florida International and Illinois State. More schools should jump into the mix during spring football. Thompson said Pickett is eligible to practice with the team in May, but cannot play in Pahokee’s spring game against Boyd Anderson at Lockhart Stadium on May 29.

Pickett’s transfer is a big boost for Pahokee, which is planning to use top playmaker De’Joshua Johnson at quarterback, even though he is a natural wide receiver. There likely would have been ongoing pressure on Thompson to move Johnson back to receiver, but now that he has Pickett as a down-field threat, Johnson should have plenty of weapons.

“It alleviates a lot of wide receiver questions,” Thompson said. “With him and Dennis Hall and a few other kids, we should have a good wide receiver corps.”

Thompson reiterated the same message he stated last spring, saying he hopes Emanuel Perez will grow into the starting quarterback role, but until he does, Johnson is Pahokee’s man. Perez will be a junior this fall. He did not develop quickly enough to supplant starter Nu’Keese Richardson last year, and ultimately Thompson chose to move Richardson back to receiver and put Johnson at quarterback during the playoffs.

Glades Central coach Jessie Hester said he was not surprised by Pickett’s transfer and the Raiders have a bevy of quality wide receivers remaining. If there was one position they could afford to lose some depth, it is receiver.

“We should have four of the top 10 kids in the area,” Hester said. “Our receivers are some of the best around.”

Hester said he has no animosity toward Pahokee over Pickett’s move.

“Not at all,” he said. “(Thompson) had nothing to do with that. It was a personal issue with his family.”

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