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Pickard Performs Well At Camps

Millburn (N.J.) Senior High junior tight end Jake Pickard has been making up for lost time on the camp circuit this summer.

Pickard has family connections at both Michigan and Penn State.

Having missed most of his sophomore season with an injury, a now healthy 6-foot-5, 213-pound Pickard camped at both Michigan and Penn State where he received positive feedback from both coaching staffs.

Pickard made his way to Ann Arbor for the four-day camp in mid-June. His father played with Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke at Ball State.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Michigan and going there has been my number one priority since I started playing football,” Pickard said. “That’s my dream, that I really want to play at Michigan. Now that I’ve been there and met the coaches, I met Brady Hoke and I met Dan Ferrigno and saw the campus, I truly fell in love with the school. The standards they have there really impressed me and it would be truly hard to beat an offer from Michigan.”

Pickard enjoyed his time working with Ferrigno.

“He had me up with the senior group as opposed to staying with the juniors,” Pickard recapped. “He wanted to see how I’d do against the senior linebackers in 7-on-7 and 1-on-1s and Coach Ferrigno said he liked how I played against them. He said I had good footwork and skills and the thing he wants me to focus on is gaining weight.”

Pickard plans on returning to Michigan sometime during the fall for a game.

Penn State is also a school Pickard has a family connect with. Ron Vanderlinden coached his father at Ball State. He camped there on June 22 and the family has been in touch with John Strollo.

“Penn State was also very impressive,” Pickard said. “Their work ethic stood out. Whenever we would do anything they would have us sprinting there. When we went in weight room the weight trainer was very intense. He was like work, work, work and we’ll get you better. They have a very strong work ethic.

“Penn State would also be in my top three schools. I’ve always been a fan since they’re so close and I have a lot of relatives that live in Pennsylvania.”

Pickard added that Rutgers would be the third school he followed along with Michigan and Penn State. Other programs showing early interest includes Virginia and UMass.

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