Four-star El Cerrito (Calif.) cornerback Adarius Pickett may not have put up the gaudy stats of Joe Mixon or D.J. Calhoun during Sunday's Passing Down 7-on-7 Central California Regional, but his presence alone affected how other teams played the TMP Elite Stars.
"I had one pick, but they were staying away from me a lot," Pickett laughed. "I had quite a few broken up balls, but they didn't really come to my side, at all."
TMP ran the table to take the tournament title and a berth in the Passing Down 7-on-7 Best of the West Tournament on April 28 in Los Angeles, where Pickett, Mixon, Calhoun and fellow Cal recruit Michael Lazarus will compete against some of the top 7-on-7 squads in the state.
"That's a big event," Pickett said. "It's really good. Our main goal today was to go out and win this tournament and move on from there, and we won the tournament, so I feel really good about the L.A. tournament."
From the first snap, TMP Elite was unstoppable, mainly thanks to Mixon's 14 touchdowns, but in shutting down the DB Guru team from Fresno 25-6 in the opener, it was the relationships between the four Bears targets that took center stage.
"Our chemistry as a team -- me, Joe, DJ, Big Mike -- and some of the other players on our team, we all play well together," Pickett said. "Me, Joe, DJ and Big Mike, we've all got that good connection, so we play well together and we play for each other."
The 30-minute regional final required an extra period to decide, after neither Team Grizzlies nor TMP could get on the board during regulation.
"The whole game, that last game, it was a battle, and both sides played good defense," Pickett said. "We scored a touchdown, but they said we didn't. We stopped them on defense the last play, and then when we got on offense, we only needed seven yards, so we dumped it off to Joe, and he ran that last seven yards for a touchdown."
With all four teammates being courted by Cal, Pickett said that they are discussing a group trip to Berkeley at some point in the future, but of course, the most current buzz on their lips was about the new uniform unveiling.
"Oh, the Cal uniforms, they're tight," Pickett said. "I saw them, and I was like, ‘Wow.' The new bear on the side, I like that."
When Pickett isn't mixing it up on the football field, he's having quite a junior baseball season for the Gauchos, hitting .421 with a team-high 15 runs and 12 stolen bases.
The possibility of playing with his lifelong friends on the gridiron at the next level, though, became a lot more real on Sunday.
"Yeah, it does. It was a great feeling, playing with those guys today," Pickett said. "It was really good."
PASSING DOWN: Adarius Pickett
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