LSU lands top athlete D.J. Pickett to pair with No. 1 QB, RB

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LSU landed its fifth and most high-profile commitment of the month Wednesday evening, beating out Miami and Oregon for the pledge of five-star athlete D.J. Pickett, No. 14 in the ESPN 300 rankings.

Pickett, a two-way star from Zephyrhills, Florida, announced his commitment during a ceremony at Zephyrhills High School. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound prospect is the top-ranked athlete in the 2025 class and the No. 2 recruit from the state of Florida in this cycle.

Between Pickett, No. 1 quarterback Bryce Underwood and No. 1 running back Harlem Berry, Brian Kelly and the Tigers now hold pledges from the top prospect in three different position groups in the current cycle.

Pickett, who is expected to play defensive back at the next level, cited his connection with LSU secondary coach Corey Raymond and relationships with former Tigers defensive backs Patrick Peterson and Derek Stingley Jr. among the factors that pulled his commitment to Baton Rouge.

"Me and Corey Raymond have a good bond," Pickett told ESPN. "I'm a big relationship guy. And LSU is DBU. Playing defensive back there is a blessed spot to be in."

Pickett's pledge closes a tight recruitment that included spring visits to LSU, Clemson, Georgia, Miami and Oregon before he narrowed down his list to the three finalists.

The nephew of former Miami defensive end Booker Pickett and cousin to Hurricanes freshman edge Booker Pickett Jr., Pickett holds family ties to Mario Cristobal's program. He also noted the palpable energy among Dan Lanning's staff at Oregon but was ultimately swayed by the opportunity offered at LSU.

"All these three schools are good," Pickett said. "[LSU] is just the place I feel I can grow the most and fulfill my dreams."

Pickett is now the second-highest-rated member of the Tigers' fifth-ranked class, per ESPN, trailing only Underwood, the No. 1 quarterback who has been committed to LSU since January. With Pickett's pledge, LSU is now up to 12 ESPN 300 commits in 2025, and he stands among the program's three top-100 commits in the current cycle.

A two-way standout at Zephyrhills, Pickett hauled in 52 passes for 1,033 yards and 15 touchdowns with 31 total tackles and an interception during his junior season last fall. Away from football, Pickett is a district champion sprinter and also competes in baseball and basketball. Along with his Miami ties, Pickett is the nephew of former Ohio State nose tackle Ryan Pickett, who won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers during his 14-year NFL career (2001-14).

Pickett joins defensive tackles Zion Williams (No. 15 DT in 2025) and Brandon Brown (No. 33 DT), defensive end Damien Shanklin (No. 17 DE) and safety Jhase Thomas (No. 32 safety) among the July additions to Kelly's latest talent-rich class headed to LSU.