Pickard Impressed by UVa; 2 More Visits Set

Pickard Impressed by UVa; 2 More Visits Set

Jake Pickard is a versatile athlete that has many programs interested. The Millburn (N.J.) High prospect was in Charlottesville on Monday and Scout.com caught up with the three-star recruit to discuss his visit with Virginia and what's next.

Jake Pickard began his tour of three visits in five days on Monday with a stop in Charlottesville to visit Virginia.

"We got to talk to all the coaches, coach (Larry) Lewis, Jappy (Oliver), coach (Mike) London," said the Millburn (N.J.) High athlete after making the trip with his parents to UVa. "We took a tour of the campus, and we saw everything. We talked to Ms. Fitz (Natalie Fitzgerald), the academic advisor for football; we took a tour of the McCue center; we saw the locker rooms; we saw some of the players in the weight room."

In two hours Pickard really got a detailed glimpse at what grounds had to offer him. He even took a few minutes to see one of Mike London's big community projects in Virginia, the bone marrow drive. However, it was a 45 minute conversation with the Cavalier staff that allowed him to dive further into a potential future with the Wahoos.

"After talking to them I think this season isn't going to be anything like last season," he explained. "Jappy just talked about where he has been, his history and his understanding of the game. He wants to take this defense to a whole other level.

"Coach London was explaining that they had four seniors last year and this year they have 22…With the knowledge that they have, the new personnel that they have, and the people that they have getting older and more mature and better, this year will be nothing like last."

The 6-foot-6, 225 pounder is a versatile prospect in the 2015 class. Pickard, who has played on both the defensive and offensive line and has played tight end, is being recruited by a number of programs on either side of the ball. Virginia sees the possibility on both.

"They would be defense with a high chance of me playing offense because of my size and my speed. And with my history playing tight end, I could also play that. They will be taking a number of tight ends, they said. So it is where I would fit in the quickest."

Having no set position before landing on campus does not deter Pickard, since he had to play offensive tackle for his high school team this season.

"I love the option. It is just football honestly. I am not really going to be nitpicky about where I want to play. If you had asked me that question a year ago I would have said offense…Whether it's offense or defense, my main goal is to play college football and to help the team win.

"If one school offered me only offense and if one school offered me only defense that wouldn't make too much of a difference in the decision process. It was mostly about academics, location, coaching, the players on the team. Position is probably the least of my worries."

Now Pickard is setting his sights on his next two visits, Rutgers on Thursday and Boston College on Friday. The Scarlet Knights and Pickard have remained in contact and being an in-state school is definitely a draw.

"Same thing I've been hearing from a lot of schools. I can help them on both sides of the ball. But overall I can help them very quickly, and I am the type of person that fits their criteria when they are looking for a student athlete… They just like me a lot and also I am right in their backyard, which is a major plus for everybody, because my mom wants me to stay close to home."

Although he has these visits set up, Pickard does not have any timeline set for his decision. He just knows with several decommitments happening around him, his timeline is simple: when he is ready.

"I don't have a set time. When I make my decision I want to be done. This is my decision-unless there is something serious that happens with the coaching staff or with the university. But probably before my senior season starts or a week or two into my senior season, depending if I need to make any of my official visits.

"I am not going to rush it, but I am not going to postpone it either."

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