Pickens Pledges to Sun Devils

A.J. Pickens has been listing Arizona State as his favorite for several weeks now. Yet, he wanted to take his time in making his decision. The wide receiver was hoping to do so before Christmas, but ultimately rang in the New Year with a verbal commitment to ASU.

"I sat down with my family and just decided that if Arizona State is where I want to go to, I should just make the decision," said the 5-10 175 A.J. Pickens. "The decision wasn't hard, but when you're choosing a school you're gonna spend four years at, you want to make sure that you make the right decision. I called Coach Lubick who's been recruiting me this morning and he was very excited."

The Chino (Calif.) Don Lugo standout began his official visit circuit in Tempe back on October 20th. Ultimately, his subsequent official trips to Arizona, Oregon State, Fresno State and Washington couldn't compare to his weekend in Sun Devil country. "I love everything about the school," Pickens remarked. "The coaches, the players, the surroundings, the academics, and it helps that it's close to home."

Pickens, who's being recruited by ASU as a slot wide receiver, was Don Lugo's leading rusher and their star offensive player in their 7-4 campaign this season. He scored 10 touchdowns, nine of them rushing. He tallied 930 yards for the Conquistadores on only 102 carries. As a defensive back he registered 19 total tackles, an interception, and one pass defended. He also averaged 47 yards a kick return.

As a junior he paced his team in scoring (84 pts.). He rushed for 808 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 27 balls for 345 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned 12 kickoffs for 341 yards. "I have good speed and make big plays," he said of his skills in a previous interview. "I need to get more physical, and do a better job getting out of my breaks and running my routes."

Pickens reported a 2.9 GPA and is awaiting his college entrance exam results. The wide receiver is the 18th known verbal commitment of ASU's 2008 recruiting class.

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