SPARTANBURG, SC (TheBigSpur.com) - Five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens, who’s committed to the 2019 South Carolina football recruiting class, received the state’s Mr. Football award on Saturday.
Pickens is the second Gamecock in as many years to receive the honor. Quarterback Dakereon Joyner, a former 4-star recruit from Fort Dorchester High School (North Charleston, S.C.), received the award in 2017.
Like Joyner, Pickens is set to graduate early from high school, before he joins South Carolina as a midyear enrollee. Pickens, who’s from T.L. Hanna High School, is the top-ranked recruit from the state of South Carolina for the 2019 recruiting cycle. Nationally, he’s the No. 18-ranked prospect in the country. He’s second among strongside defensive ends.
Pickens, who started at defensive end in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas all-star game on Saturday, finished the first half of the game on Saturday with four tackles and a pass breakup. He's scheduled to also appear in the Under Armour All-America Game in January.
South Carolina topped Clemson and Georgia for Pickens’ commitment earlier this spring. And he’s been firm with that pledge ever since. He'll soon join his older brother at South Carolina, walk-on defensive back Kevin Pickens.
"We used to get up early and throw the football," the younger Pickens said, during the Shrine Bowl broadcast. "He always wanted to be physical and I just wanted to throw the ball. Everything we did, he always wanted to be physical with me, because I was bigger than him, so now, I don't think he wants to do that."
Other South Carolina Mr. Football recipients to sign with the Gamecocks include Jermale Kelley, Derek Watson, Moe Thompson, Stephon Gilmore, Marcus Lattimore, Jadeveon Clowney and Shaq Roland.
The South Carolina football team will play against Virginia in the Belk Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 29. Kickoff is set for 12 o’clock.