Nathan's sophomore season saw him collect 72 tackles, 21 sacks, 26 tackles for a loss, 3 caused fumbles with four batted down balls. The performance at the Nike Regional shocked many who are not familiar with the great state of Mississippi but not those within it.
"I had a good time," Pickering said. "When we got down there I saw a lot of good players there. I knew I had to do my best to make a name for myself."
That he did as he was selected one of the top performers in the Regional. In fac, t Pickering was named one of top five defensive linemen at the combine, regardless of classification
"They were putting me up against the top offensive linemen there. I think I held my own. I think I caught a lot of them by surprise because nobody knows much about little ole Seminary, Miss. We don't exactly get a lot of pub."
The Southern Mississippi coach offered shortly after the Regional in New Orleans.
"I got an offer from USM. Coach Bailey called and asked me to come down to one of their practices. I talked to their coaches and went up to (USM head) coach (Jay) Hopson's office. He told me that he really wants me to be a part of their team. Coach (Hopson) said they want to build their defensive around me."
Growing up just 10 miles down the road from Hattiesburg gives him an inside peak.
"I have grown up going to their games. I know everything there is to know about USM. It's only 15 minutes from my house. That's a really big plus. They are looking after my grades too. I like that."
Another instate school seems to have made the first impression.
"Ole Miss, well, they were the first school to offer me. That's kind of like my school. I like everything about Ole Miss. I talk to coachees (Freddie) Roach and (Derrick) Nix all the time. I'm going down there for one of their camps in June. They are always talking to my mom and getting to know my family. My family really likes their coaches. They had a wonderful time on our trip up there and so did I. I loved it. They treated my family like family. They always talk about their educational programs and what it is like to be an every day student there."
Mississippi State has also offered as well.
"I went up there for their Junior Day. The thing that stands out about MSU are their coaches. They are real cool. I liked their academic center. I like how they help you with your grades with their turoring program. They are strict on you staying on top of your grades. They are always checking on your grades."
One out of state program is trying to jump into the instate race.
"Georgia has been in contact with me a lot. They talked to me Friday. They want me to come down there to one of their camps and be a part of their program."
Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org