Florida Football Recruiting: The Pursuit of DJ Pickett is heating up

The Florida Gators are aggressively pursuing elite cornerback DJ Pickett to strengthen their secondary.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

In the ever-competitive world of college football recruiting, the Florida Gators are not giving up in their pursuit of DJ Pickett, widely regarded as the nation's top cornerback prospect.

According to Pickett's father, who spoke to On3's Steve Wiltfong, the interest is mutual. "I like Coach (Will) Harris a lot," he said. "I told him I'll make it my business we try to find a way to get to Florida for an official."

While Pickett's ranking varies slightly across scouting services, his status as an elite cornerback prospect is undeniable. Standing at 6'4" and 180 pounds, the Zephyrhills, Florida native possesses the ideal physical attributes to thrive in the defensive backfield. Pickett's combination of size, athleticism, and coverage skills has caught the attention of virtually everyone in the country.

We profiled Pickett back in March and at the time we said:

"On film, his size is his strength and Pickett's length immediately jumps out as it feels like no one has a chance against him once they are in his vicinity. His read of the game is great as he tends to play further back off the line of scrimmage, allowing him to peel off if needed to intercept a pass.

His work as a wide receiver is confirmation that Pickett has speed that translates to the field. On the track, Pickett sports a PR in the 100 meter dash of 10.62. His current season best in the 2024 season of 10.84, 4th best in Florida for class 3A and 16th best in the entire state regardless of classification."

Picket recently ran 10.69 seconds in the 100 at the 3A, Region 2 track meet to qualify for the state meet, which will be held in Jacksonville next week.

Will Harris has been after Pickett hard and has a lot to sell for a recruiting pitched.

Prior to arriving in Gainesville this year, Harris helped Washington lead the nation in pass defense in 2021, allowing a mere 143.3 yards per game and surrendering only six touchdowns. Harris played a pivotal role in the development of two first-team Pac-12 All-Conference selections, Kyler Gordon and Trent McDuffie. McDuffie's exceptional performance earned him third-team All-America honors from the Associated Press and a first-round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Draft, while Gordon was a second-round pick by the Chicago Bears.

Securing a commitment from DJ Pickett would be significant for the Gators, especially as they seek to revamp a pass defense that finished 70th nationally in yards allowed in 2023. While Florida's 2025 recruiting class currently ranks 49th in the nation according to 247Sports, with only four commitments, adding a blue-chip prospect like Pickett could provide a much-needed spark.