Only 10 programs remain in the mix for elite Seminary (Miss) strong-side defensive end Nathan Pickering.
The Texas Longhorns are among that bunch, along with Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississipi State, Ole Miss and USC, Picking announced on Monday.
A brute force in the trenches, Pickering totaled 85 tackles in 2017, along with a mind-boggling 39 tackles for loss, five sacks and 21 hurries, and his top 10 reflects that productivity.
Texas, which became his most recent offer on Feb 28 and his only Big 12 invitation, is yet to host the prized Mississippi product, and to this point, that hasn’t impacted his interest in the ‘Horns. With Pickering now narrowing the focus in his recruitment, though, Texas’ ability to get him to the Forty Acres in the coming months will be essential.
As seen by his top 10, Pickering is leaning towards playing in the SEC, and at this point, Mississippi State is the heavy favorite with 86 percent of his Crystal Ball projections.
Texas does hold a pledge from Hunstville strong-side defensive end T’Vondre Sweat, but Pickering — a top 50 prospect nationally — is easily the most highly regarded of the four strong-side defensive ends with a Longhorns offer to date.
A 6’5, 270-pound prospect, Pickering is ranked as the nation’s No. 4 strong-side defensive end and the No. 2 player in Mississippi, per the 247Sports Composite.