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Monday, February 25, 2013
Calhoun, Pickett discuss USC junior day

By Erik McKinney

There are several high schools in California with enough talent to make them must-stop destinations for college coaches recruiting the 2014 class. In Northern California, El Cerrito makes the list, headlined by linebacker D.J. Calhoun and safety Adarius Pickett.

This past weekend, the two Watch List prospects were on hand for USC's junior day, which marked Pickett's first visit to USC and the first time Calhoun received an in-depth look at the campus.

"My big impressions were the facilities -- I never knew it was that big at all -- and the academics," Calhoun said. "The way the counselors and the football players get together, I really liked that a lot."

Pickett was impressed by the academics and facilities as well, though he was surprised by the situation with the USC coaching staff, which officially welcomed three new additions on Sunday.

"I didn't know the coaches would be just arriving there, just like we were," Pickett said. "I didn't know that was going on with the staff. It was good meeting the new coaches. They seem to like me a lot and they want me to come down to their camp in June."

While Pickett holds six offers -- five from the Pac-12 -- and Calhoun holds six Pac-12 offers among his eight total, they thought there was a chance they could add another one on Sunday. Calhoun in particular believed an offer from the Trojans was imminent.

"I came in thinking I was going to get offered," Calhoun said. "They came to our school three times already. I was kind of disappointed I didn't get offered. They were talking about how much they love me and how they love the way I play. It's kind of disappointing that there is a new defensive coordinator and new linebacker coach, but I have to get a better relationship with them now. It's a good lesson that I have to keep moving on."

Calhoun said that USC remains one of the schools he is considering, but other schools are making a more significant push in his recruitment. Pickett added that he is undecided if he will return for a camp at USC this summer, but said he looks forward to continuing his relationship with his recruiter, Clay Helton, and wants to see how his recruitment progresses.

An interesting development this weekend was USC extending an offer to running back Joe Mixon (Freedom, Calif./Oakley). The three are very good friends and have spoken about playing together at the next level. While there is still plenty of time until signing day, Mixon said the idea of attending the same school isn't new.

"We've been talking about it forever now," Mixon said. "I think we'll go to the same school. We've been talking to UCLA a lot. I'm not going to say that's a top school for us, but it's one school we've been looking at."

The next stop for the trio will be California this weekend, as they will take in a junior day with the Golden Bears. After that, they will prepare for the Northern California Nike Camp in May.