Salesian (Los Angeles, Calif.) safety Nick Pickett, one of Utah's top defensive back recruits, had the opportunity to visit Salt Lake City this past weekend and get to know the Utah program.
“The visit went great, it was better than I expected it to be," said Pickett. "The fan base was real good. The team was real welcoming to all the recruits that was there. We ate a lot, we got to eat at the hotel and the facility, which was cool. The hotel had a restaurant which was pretty nice too.”
The Utes not only hosted some priority recruits, but they hosted one their rivals on the field, the BYU Cougars. For Pickett, it was his first chance to see the rivalry game in person. “It was a real competitive game” Nick said. “Utah had a couple of mistakes, but they didn’t let that affect them in the outcome of the game. So, I just like how they overcame the mistakes they had early on and came out with the W. So I just like the competitiveness and the coaching in the game. But it was real intense and pretty crazy at the stadium.”
Pickett is a big, athletic safety prospect that feels he’d be a good fit in the Utah defense. “I like the way the safeties are used in the defense at Utah,” he said. “I actually spoke with Coach Scalley on Sunday. We watched some practice film of the team, and he said that I’m a perfect fit and that I’m the type of guy he’s looking for that can play both the free safety and strong safety positions, being able to go in coverage and able to come down & play man and being physical on defense."
Utah fans that follow recruiting closely will recognize Pickett as part of the #California3, the moniker some have given him along with defensive backs Jeffrey Manning and Darren Hall on social media. Both Hall and Manning were also on the visit, and Pickett was also able to spend the weekend hanging out with them. “It was great spending the weekend with those guys (Jeffrey & Darren) as well as Elijah (Blades) and Cyrus (Habibi-Likio). We were just talking if we were all to go Utah how it would be, and how the defense would be. It was pretty exciting spending time with them,” he said.
Getting the opportunity to see the program up close, Pickett had a lot to say about the Utes. “It’s an up-and-coming program. I think they still have a little ways to go in establishing themselves in the Pac-12, but they’re doing a good job recruiting. But the future is definitely bright, especially with who they’re recruiting and the coaches there,” he said.
In regards to a possible commitment, things look a little early for Pickett right now. “No commitment just yet, Utah has about 8 safeties on the roster, but they’re still recruiting me hard. There’s still a lot of time until signing day, and they said anything can happen, so they’re still going to recruit me hard,” he explained.
Now that his first official visit is wrapped up, what’s the plan for Pickett from here? “I’m definitely going to take my other officials, I’m not sure where right now, other than San Diego State, which will most likely be after the season," he said.
“I’m thinking I’m going to take an unofficial visit to the Utah-San Jose State game this weekend as well. I’m also talking to other coaches right now. Mizzou just offered, I just started talking with the Boise State safety coach, but I think I’ll be planning an official with my teammates out to Missouri,” he said.