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Alabama RB’s relationship with Smith brings smile to his face

by Richard Davenport | June 19, 2021 at 4:06 p.m.
2023 RB Drew Pickett is all smiles when talking about Arkansas running backs coach Jimmy Smith.

Running back target Drew Pickett, a 2023 Arkansas target, smiled a lot when talking about Razorbacks running backs coach Jimmy Smith after visiting Fayetteville and participating in Saturday’s camp.

“Coach Smith is a great coach,’ Pickett said. “I love Coach Smith. He’s treated me well and welcomed me in with open arms and showed me around. Just treating me really well.”

Pickett, 5-8, 178 pounds, of Deatsville, (Ala.) Holtville, has eight offers from schools such as Arkansas, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Arkansas State, Kansas, Duke and other programs. He visited the Razorbacks on Friday before taking part in Saturday’s camp.

“It was a good camp, the coaches showed me what I did well and what I did wrong,” he said. “Helping me do some things better and improve on and how I can be a better football player.”

He rushed 227 times for 1,352 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore for the Class 5A Bulldogs. The two-day visit has elevated his bond with Smith.

“I’ve definitely gotten closer with him since I’ve been up here,” Pickett said. “Actually meeting him face-to-face and talking to him and having deep conversations. It made us have a stronger relationship.”

When the NCAA announced a dead period on March 13, 2020, it changed the recruiting world for recruits and coaches alike.

“There’s only so much you can do and say over the phone,” said Pickett, who has a 3.7 grade point average. “You’re really not there with the coach, but when you’re face-to-face it’s closer, more intimate and it helps you grow a stronger bond with the coach.”

Pickett was lowkey about the visit and if it helped Arkansas’ chances of signing him.

“Can’t really speak on that. Only time will tell,” he said.

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