2017 Los Angeles (CA) Bishop Mora Salesian DB Nick Pickett may be born and raised a Californian, but at one time, Pickett was a Chicagoan. And though his recollection of those years isn’t extremely vivid, that time in Chicago, along with defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson, have helped the Illini insert themselves into Pickett’s recruitment.
“I got the call recently from Coach (Hardy) Nickerson,” Pickett said. “He’s been out here a couple of times to recruit my teammates and me.”
Pickett, as mentioned, lived in Illinois, specifically in the Chicago area, for approximately two years when he was younger.
“My family is from Chicago, and I grew up there for a while,” Pickett said. “I still have family out there. I don’t remember too many of my friends from there because I was really young at the time.”
Born in Sacramento, Pickett moved to the Chicago area for a year or two when he was young, but returned to California before too long. Had Pickett stayed in the Chicago area, he would have likely been part of an already loaded high school team.
“If I stayed in Chicago I would have been at Homewood-Flossmoor,” he said.
Pickett’s recruitment has seen an increase in interest recently as he’s landed offers from Illinois and dream school Oregon over the last couple of weeks to go along with scholarships from Boise State, San Diego State, and others.
Pickett explained some of the key factors that will help him differentiate schools and come to a decision at the end of the day.
“I really want to see how hard each school recruits me,” Pickett said. “I’d like to go to a school where they’re a team off the field as much as they are on it.”
The Illini, aside from the home-state ties with his family, have made an impression upon Pickett already in how they have recruited him as well as how they have battled as a team so far.
“I like Illinois,” Pickett said. “They’re a very competitive team. I plan on taking a visit there, but it may have to be after the season.”
Pickett isn’t rushing his decision, but also said he could make a decision sooner than he is currently planning to if the feeling is right.
“Right now the plan is a signing day decision unless I feel a school is the right choice for me without a doubt,” he said.