Beavs charging after California WR

OREGON STATE is one of three schools recruiting hardest a 5-foot-10, 175-pound 3-star all-purpose yardage machine. Out of Chino, Calif., just East of Los Angeles, the playmaker out of Don Lugo High took in the sights and sounds of Corvallis last month, coming away impressed with all things black and orange. A number of other schools, however, are also coming on strong.

A.J. Pickens says Oregon State has told him he can have his pick of position, and that they really like him at wide receiver. He turned in a solid performance at the Beavs summer youth camp in June.

"I liked all the coaching staff, and then the players, and just the people just around the school. They were all real nice," said Pickens.

The Beavers are joined by another Pac-10 school and his father's alma mater in a trio who is recruiting the hardest.

"I'm hearing the most from Arizona, Oregon State and Fresno State," said Pickens.

IN ADDITION TO Oregon State, Pickens' offers include those from Arizona, Washington, San Diego State and Arizona State.

Pickens, who early on had the UW as his leader, says he has no frontrunners and that his official visits will go a long ways towards his decision. It would also seem apparent Fresno State and Arizona have made strong impressions of late.

"They're all even right now and (probably will remain so) until I can make the official trips," said Pickens. "I'm thinking about taking my mom and dad to go with me on the trips and if they like it, I'll see if I feel comfortable and if I do, then I'll be able to make a decision."

PICKENS, IN ADDITION to the OSU camp this summer, traveled to UA and FSU, and said he hopes to hit a couple more Pac-10 schools before football practice starts up.

"I went to Arizona and Fresno State unofficially," said Pickens. "(Both) were really nice. I had a good time at Fresno State, the coaches were really into me. My dad (Dwight Pickens, [1988-89]) played there, too, he played wide receiver.

"Arizona, I had a good time up there, and I'm probably going to make another trip up there for an official visit...I didn't really get to see everything. And then also (unofficial visits to) Arizona State and Washington."

PICKENS RACKED UP nearly 1,500 all-purpose yards his junior campaign, logging 27 catches for 345 yards and 3 TDs, returning 12 kickoffs for 341 yards and rushing for 808 yards with 12 scores. Defensively, he contributed 24 tackles.

He also led the Conquistadores in scoring.

A.J. Pickens profile

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