On paper TE/DE Jake Pickard is still committed to the Wisconsin Badgers, but off the record things are much more complicated.
After Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen left Madison for Oregon State, the tight end/defensive end out of Millburn, New Jersey started looking at other options.
Pickard spent his last weekend here in Syracuse, and will travel to Eugene this weekend to hear Oregon’s sales pitch. He has been and will continue to hear from Wisconsin officials along the way to remind him of that pesky commitment he made to them.
Each of these three teams has intriguing aspects, and what Pickard values most will likely decide where the 3-star recruit will be moving into next fall:
The Orange have playing time to offer. There’s by no means a promise of freshman minutes, but compared to the other teams in the conversation Syracuse has the advantage in being able to play right away.
The thing that the Orange can’t sell Pickard on is team success compared to the others. Oregon made it to the National Championship Game and has been consistently a title contender. They may be losing their Heisman winner, but the Ducks can guarantee a top-ranked team in the 2015 preseason that the Orange cannot.
The Badgers also have had success in recent years, and are now the reigning champions of the Outback Bowl and played in the B1G title game. Pickard is still a verbal commit to Wisconsin, and is only looking elsewhere. If Pickard ends up liking what the new coaching staff has to offer, then Wisconsin should still be the favorite.
In the end, it’s obviously going to come down to what Pickard wants. If he wants a better chance to play, then Syracuse is the favorite. If he wants to win, then Wisconsin and Oregon are more likely to win his talents. We’ll see what happens on Signing Day.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson