The offseason was friendly to Ocean (N.J.) Township quarterback Kenny Pickett, who is almost finished with an exciting February.
Pickett improved his stock with the focus on the 2017 class, and holds four verbal scholarship offers and an all-star MVP trophy after a busy month.
With offers from Buffalo, Temple, Toledo and Monmouth, Pickett began his offseason with an MVP trophy in the U-18 International Bowl with 299 passing yards and three touchdowns.
“I had a lot of people back home watching and supporting me,” Pickett said. “It felt great to represent my state and my hometown and not just that but your country too. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. My family was very proud of me.”
Pickett’s most recent visit was at Temple for the Owls’ football junior day during a basketball game against No. 1 Villanova. He visits Boston College, UCF and Florida next on the schedule.
“The Temple visit went great,” Pickett said. “I really enjoyed touring the facilities and speaking to the coaches. [Offensive coordinator Glenn] Thomas talked about the offense with me and my parents, about his time in the League coaching Matt Ryan, schemes and quarterback development. We all came away very impressed. I'm excited to get back on campus in the spring.”
Pickett visited Rutgers last week for its first major junior day of the offseason. Pickett was a frequent visitor to campus last year. His first meeting with head coach Chris Ash and the staff went well, he said.
“I enjoyed hearing about coach Ash’s vision for the program and where he sees everything going with Rutgers,” Pickett said. “It’s a different vibe when you walk in the building. It was very upbeat. Coaches are excited and I fed off that energy.
“… Coash Ash is a real personable guy that you can relate to. It was good to see that I could get along with him so easily with him being a head coach and all of the publicity surrounding him right now.”
Rutgers transitions away from its traditional pro-style attack to a more conventional spread look in spring practice. The Scarlet Knights continue their evaluation of Pickett with a projected spring visit.
“I think this new offense fits my skillset better than last year’s Rutgers offense,” Pickett said. “It’s more spread out and I can use my feet and legs to get first downs. I got to run this offense in the International Bowl, and I felt really comfortable in it.”
Pickett is on track for early enrollment at the school of his choosing.
“Coming down to this summer, I’m hoping to make a decision on where I want to go to school so I can help start building a class wherever I choose and be ready to enroll early,” he said. “Location is a huge part, and so are academics. I want to get along with the coaching staff because those are they guys I’d spend the next four years of my life with every day with the offseason and practices and that definitely plays a huge role in what I choose.”