State's prospect draws strength from tragedy

James Hale goes one-on-one with Jenks defensive end Brian Pickryl about recruiting, his recent illness and the cancellation of the Jenks-Union game


JH: Is it true that you have been ill so far this season and have lost a lot of weight?

BP: I have always had trouble putting on weight and now I have been sick with mono for the last four weeks. I didn't know I had it until I was already three weeks into it. I noticed I was getting tired all the time, but I thought it was a conditioning problem or something, but then I also noticed that I was losing weight. Finally, I got it tested and when I was diagnosed with mono I started taking care of it. I started sleeping 20 hours a day it seemed like, but the last couple of days I have felt great and I think I am getting well. I have been able to get my weight back up to 232 pounds.

JH: When do you expect to be back on the field in full strength?

"I was planning on playing against Tulsa Union in certain situations. I was going to be a third down specialist and come in and rush the quarterback. I wouldn't miss the Union game for anything. However, there was no way we could play with what has happened to our country. I was shocked when New York City and Washington D.C. were attacked. I have been in tears every day as I watched TV. I didn't' feel like playing football and I haven't been focused on football. My prayers and thoughts have been on all the families that have been effected by what has happened. I just can't believe it."

"I know we may be going to war and that is something that I think about all the time. I know a couple of friends that are in the military that went to school at Jenks last year. There are a few of my current classmates that are going into the military after they graduate. I have a phobia of flying now, much more than I did before. I have been flying all summer, but that may change. I may not fly for a while and that may effect what recruiting trips I take. I believe that airport security is going to be improved and our government will take every step possible step to make sure that we are safe."

JH: What is the latest with your recruiting process?

"I was planning to go to OU on Saturday and watch their game with TU. Now, I will just watch TV and continue to follow what is happened in New York City and Washington D.C. What has really hit me is the story of the firemen who have gone in to help and losing their lives. They are my hero's. I took a lot away from their strength, courage and bravery. That is something that I will take with me personally in my everyday life, not just in football. I will be dedicated to helping other people and trying to follow their example."

"I haven't been able to talk to a lot of coaches recently, because I have been sick. The top teams right now would be OU, Texas, UCLA, Michigan and Missouri (Oct 12). I haven't set any official visits except to Missouri, but I am close to setting a visit up with Texas. I would have taken an unofficial visit to OU this weekend, but I will work that out at another game. I really don't have a leader at this point and all five schools at this point are very high in consideration."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories