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Touted local DE talks Clemson visit

Local standout Zacch Pickens of Anderson (S.C.) T.L. Hanna made the short trip to Clemson on Wednesday for his first visit since the South Carolina game in November.

The highly touted defensive end was accompanied by his recently hired head coach, former Grayson (Ga.) coach Jeff Herron. Pickens got his first look at the new football complex and watched Clemson’s scrimmage.

“It was really nice,” Pickens said of the visit.

“The defense did really good,” he added of the scrimmage.

Pickens (6-3, 245), who is rated by 247Sports as the top prospect in South Carolina and a top-10 prospect in the 2019 class, enjoyed seeing and experiencing the new facility.

“I haven’t seen one like that,” he said. “The slide is my favorite part.”

The visit afforded him another opportunity to talk with Clemson’s staff. What did he hear from the coaches?

“How big I’ve gotten,” he said, “that I’m real high on their radar.”

Pickens was able to meet new defensive line coach Todd Bates for the first time and begin striking up a relationship.

“He’s a real nice guy,” Pickens said. “He really wants me to come there too and play for them.”

Pickens carries offers from Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Clemson, which offered last March, and Florida State are regarded as the frontrunners.

He attended Florida State’s junior day on March 4.

“It was a nice time there too,” he said. “I just wanted to go see the school and how it was.”

Pickens says he’ll wait until his senior year to make a decision.

“Definitely my senior year,” he said. “That’s when I’m going to start cutting stuff down.”

Pickens could be back on Clemson’s campus for April 8’s spring game, though he is unsure of his plans.

He cited his comfort level at Clemson as what stands out the most to him about it.

“When I come, they treat me like family,” he said.

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