Posted: 9:05 am Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
Pahokee wide receiver Fred Pickett and coach Blaze Thompson shot down internet reports that Pickett committed to West Virginia. Pickett said he did not commit, but West Virginia is the leading candidate to land him at this point.
Both Scout.com and Rivals.com have Pickett as an oral commitment to the Mountaineers, but Thompson said that isn’t exactly how the conversation between the player and the school went.
“It’s not true,” Thompson said. “He told them he was highly interested and was going to visit. He said he wasn’t committing, just going up there to visit.”
Pahokee typically has multiple early commitments in the spring, but Thompson is advising against that route this year in part because of Nu’Keese Richardson’s situation last season. Richardson committed to Florida in May 2008 and signed with Tennessee in February ’09. In fairness, RB Vincent Smith and LB Brandin Hawthorne both committed to Michigan in the pre-season and reported to Ann Arbor for early enrollment in January.
Thompson has not all-out banned early commitments. He simply is advising his players to spend a little more time on the process and examine their options more closely.
I’d still watch for players like Pickett and Antonio Ford to declare early.
“At this point no one here has committed,” Thompson said.
Pickett may yet choose West Virginia this spring. The Mountaineers have built a strong relationship with Pahokee over the past few years and Doc Holliday’s face is well known in the Muck. West Virginia also has some inroads at Glades Central, where Pickett went to school before transferring to Pahokee after the 2008 season.
Pickett has several other offers, including Florida State.
Pickett caught 18 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns as a junior at Glades Central. Those numbers are low largely because former Raiders receiver Rantavious Wooten was Glades Central’s primary target and led the area in receiving yards.