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Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Pickett a big recruiting win for UCLA

By Erik McKinney

There weren’t any immediate announcements following UCLA’s big win over Nevada in front of dozens of recruits, but the buzz after Saturday night’s game gave the impression that it was only a matter of time before there were visible results.

On Tuesday, the Bruins netted the first big news from the weekend, as ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) announced via Twitter that he committed to UCLA. Pickett took an official visit to UCLA this past weekend.

“Just committed to Ucla im officially a bruin,” Pickett posted to his account.

It’s a huge recruiting victory for UCLA, as the Bruins continue to build a solid defensive backfield and are able to add the No. 179 player in the class and California’s No. 2 cornerback. Pickett held offers from nearly every Pac-12 program, and the UCLA coaches will likely delight in the fact that he was a top target of USC at a position where the Trojans could ill-afford to miss on in this class.

The 6-foot, 186-pound cornerback originally planned to make a commitment after the fourth game of his senior season, but felt that the time was right and he didn’t need to wait any longer.

Pickett is part of a close-knit group of friends in Northern California, which features ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) and linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito). Mixon cut the Bruins from his list of schools and is now down to five schools, while Calhoun committed to USC over UCLA this past summer. The thought early on between the three was that it would be nice if they could all wind up at the same program, and although it appears that won’t be the case, Pickett said he will continue to work on his good friends to get them in blue and gold.

Though it's been something of a slow start to UCLA's 2014 class, Pickett gives it a second ESPN 300 prospect and commitment No. 8 overall. He also adds to a secondary class that features fellow cornerback Antreal Allen (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) and safeties Ron Robinson (Corona, Calif./Santiago) and JoJo McIntosh (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade). The Bruins have been quiet on the trail in terms of big commitment splashes, but Pickett's commitment proves that the UCLA coaches are working hard behind the scenes and could be in line for the same kind of class that took the conference's top spot in 2013. It also shows that in just one full season on the field, they have turned a game day official visit to the Rose Bowl into a legitimate recruiting tool.