COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - By John Whittle, TheBigSpur.com
Five-star defensive lineman Zacch Pickens (Anderson/T.L. Hanna) has committed to South Carolina. While Pickens has gone out of his way to play his recruitment as close to the vest as possible, the Gamecocks have been the team to beat for several months. On Friday, he made a public commitment.
Pickens made an announcement after his team's spring game, which can be seen on Twitter at this link from Aaron Cheslock. Pickens and his mother, who were circled by his teammates following the game, both put on South Carolina hats immediately following his pledge to the Gamecocks.
Pickens had 17 offers, according to his 247Sports profile page, but the biggest challenger to South Carolina was Georgia. In addition to the Bulldogs, Alabama and Clemson were also under heavy consideration, at least during points of the process. Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, and Tennessee were among the other notable offers for the T.L. Hanna product.
On his 247Sports profile page, here is his evaluation: Pickens is a force on the defensive front. He gets off the ball quickly and is very disruptive. Pickens is strong at the point of attack and has quick hands. He sheds blocks well, changes directions fluidly and can really run. He is effective against run and pass. Pickens also plays fast but under control. He needs to continue to improve his technique and develop some moves, but Pickens has all the tools to be a dominant player in college.
Pickens last visited South Carolina in April. He went to Georgia last weekend to see the Bulldogs and met with head coach Kirby Smart, among others. Regarding the Gamecocks, Pickens loves the culture that head coach Will Muschamp has brought to the program.
"I like how they come as a team and work as a team. At the end of the day, they're going to be a big family. I feel that when I'm with them," Pickens said recently. "I'm looking for somewhere I feel at home, just like T L Hanna. I want to feel that way. They want to use me as a defensive end."
Pickens is a five-star prospect with a 0.9917 rating in the 247Sports Composite, which makes him the No. 14 player in the country. He's ranked as the No. 1 strongside defensive end in the country and top player in the Palmetto State. He has a 96, four-star rating by 247Sports and is considered the No. 28 player nationally. Pickens is the 12th commitment for the Gamecocks in the 2019 recruiting class.