JUNIOR DAY: Pickett gives Bears an 'A'

Randy Stewart makes a big impression on El Cerrito (Calif.) defensive back Adarius Pickett, who idolized former Stewart protege Nnamdi Asomugha while growing up.

The last time Adarius Pickett stood on the floor of California Memorial Stadium, the Bears had just pulled off a major upset on Homecoming night, downing visiting UCLA, 43-17. That was the last time Cal would come out on top at home for the rest of the season.

When Pickett and his two El Cerrito (Calif.) teammates -- and newly-minted offerees Jalen Harvey and D.J. Calhoun -- came to Berkeley for Saturday's Junior Day, the atmosphere was notably different.

"Being on the field when nobody's there and just getting to really walk around on the field, it feels really nice," Pickett said. "It was really good turf, and it was just awesome to see how it is when they actually play a game and when it's empty."

While the crowd was buzzing that night several months ago, on Saturday, it was the coaching staff that came in hot, prompting Pickett to grade the visit an ‘A'.

"Hospitality was nice, I got to talk to all the coaches, coach [Sonny] Dykes, I got to sit with him when I was eating lunch, and the defensive coordinator, I was talking to him, too, and they're all really nice," Pickett said. "I got to meet coach [Randy] Stewart, the new DB coach, and he's really excited about teaching and about practicing right now. He's teaching the cornerbacks how to press right, how to get control, all of that. It was really nice up there. The weight room, the strength-and-conditioning part of it, it was really cool. It was really nice up there. I liked it a lot."

Stewart's boundless energy, Pickett said, easily translated to the meeting room as the two analyzed film.

"He's really enthusiastic, and he's really excited about football, so when he speaks it comes out," Pickett said. "He brought me back and broke down film with me, showed me what he's teaching his players right now, and technique – how to move your feet, how to move your hips, all of that. That was my favorite part."

The day finished off with the Cal basketball game against Colorado, and seeing how pumped Haas Pavilion got for the Bears left quite an impression on Pickett.

"It was great," Pickett said. "It was packed, the fans were fired up, and Cal played really good basketball against Colorado and got the W."

The fact that Pickett, Harvey and now Calhoun all have offers from the Bears could play big once recruiting gets down to the nitty gritty.

"It's a good feeling," Pickett said of Calhoun netting his offer on Saturday. "We all have some of the same schools, and we all have the chance to go to school together. We're really close. They're like my brothers, so going to school together is something we're really going to think about."

Being a local product, Pickett looked up to Cal product – and Stewart protégé – Nnamdi Asomugha , while he was growing up. Now, the possibility of playing under the same coach who helped mold the former Oakland Raiders cornerback has become quite enticing to the 5-foot-11, 176-pounder.

"That makes a big impression," Pickett said. "Me playing cornerback and Nnamdi Asomugha playing cornerback, I looked up to him when he played for the Raiders, and I still do. He's a great, great football player and cornerback, and knowing that coach Stewart coached him is just, like, ‘Wow, I could possibly be coached by the same guy who coached one of the best cornerbacks in the league right now.'"

Pickett, though, is still playing it cool as far as any potential leaders.

"They're at the top, just like all of my other offers right now," Pickett said of the Bears. "I've got to keep looking into them more, keep checking them out, keep in contact with coach Stewart and just see how it goes. It's close to home, and I feel really good about Cal right now."

BearTerritory.net Top Stories