Recruiting is a convoluted process. You have commitments, you have decommitments and well… that’s really all there is with misleading tweets intermixed. It is like The Bachelor on steroids. Except Nebraska isn’t the only one offering up roses. There is a whole country full of handsome, well dressed football programs out there with roughly 20 roses to hand out every year. Not to mention they are from more desirable locations like Gainesville, Miami, Austin and Los Angeles. Oh yea, and they have wealthy families too. Yet here they are, the Huskers, from an unassuming, semi-rural community in Lincoln, NE. Yes they have a down home country charm about them and a great smile, but is that convincing enough to get recruits to say yes on elimination night? For 2018 Nebraska recruit Barret Pickering, it very well may be.
Pickering, more like Kickering am I right guys…? Understood. I’ll stop.
If there ever was a category for schools who appreciate kickers the most, Nebraska would take the crown. The Husker faithful certainly appreciates a good ball booter. And let’s be honest, at times the kicking game has been the most important part of Nebraska’s team (shout out ’09 Alex Henery). Regardless, if you are a kicking specialist at Nebraska, you’re going to get some shine from the fans.
Although Pickering is classified as a two star recruit by the most widely accepted recruiting platforms, he is actually rated a five star by KOHL. A ranking service that specializes in kickers, punters and long snappers. KOHL is also the only platform trusted by ESPN in regards to kicking specialist rankings. It should also be noted that Alex Henery, Sam Foltz and Kyle Larson were all non ranked walk-ons that later proved themselves to be among the best in the country. Pickering’s 2 star rating also does not take into account the most important aspect of a kicker’s game, the clutch gene.
Pickering is 32 of 44 in his high school career so far, including a long of 49. With some next level coaching he looks to be a real asset to Nebraska’s special teams unit. He is the #1 ranked kicker in the state of Alabama and #6 nationally at his position. Pickering also has an offer from Vanderbilt and official recruiting visits scheduled with Florida and Texas.
There is a bit of a legacy that comes with being a Nebraska kicker. The Husker Fraternity of the Foot has bloodlines that are deep rooted in NFL talent. In 2012, Nebraska had the most punters and place kickers starting on NFL rosters. A huge incentive for anyone trying to make it to the next level.
As of right now, Pickering is a hard commit for the Huskers. If he comes to Lincoln, he will compete for playing time immediately. Nebraska currently has three place kickers on the roster. Two seniors in Drew Brown and Kramer Rath and a freshmen walk on from Omaha, Cole Frahm.
Speaking of roses, let us not forget that Pickering could play for all the roses in Pasadena one day if he chooses Nebraska. Will he accept the rose? Tune in next spring for the big reveal.