Pickett Hoping to Pick Off Opportunity with Patriots
August 29, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Adarius Pickett (35) celebrates after an interception during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots safety Adarius Pickett has a one-of-a-kind nickname that fits his position on the football field like a glove.
“Pick6Pickett” is the name that the safety goes by as the result of the many stops on his journey.
“My last name is Pickett and I wore the No. 6 in college,” Pickett told Prime Time Sports Talk. “Being a defensive back and in my last year of high school, I had nine interceptions with some returned for touchdowns. So, that is where the name came from when I was in high school and it carried into my time at UCLA.
The California native also has a unique way of training that has propelled his following on Instagram: catching a football while leaning back on his toes.
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I know what it’s like not to have you, so by any means I’m willing to do whatever it takes so I won’t have to be without you. Sacrifice it all when I’m tryna win, if it don’t go as planned we gone try again . P.S. Those who played with me, Coached me, or seen me dance know exactly what this is right here lol. Who got it in them to hit this move, while catching a football? ?. #PickSix #MrOkBoom #NFL #Matrix
“I just try to have fun and always try to show that,” Pickett told Prime Time Sports Talk. “I have a real passion, joy, and love for the game. That’s one thing I like to show whether I’m playing or working out. Just showing that it’s a joy just to be out there.”
Pickett thought his flexible catching drill was just a challenge for himself, and he never thought it would become a social media-wide challenge.
“I just did it and some people were real interested in trying it out,” Pickett said with a laugh. “Then, it just became what it is for me right now.”
With over 23,000 followers on Instagram, Pickett built his audience with positive outlooks on life and sports.
“I put out a lot of positive messages every day on my Instagram just to show that I’m a positive person and I want to spread that love and joy in everything that I do,” Pickett said.
The former Los Angeles Charger has received messages from people in walks of life, which has humbled the safety.
“People have come to my Instagram and I have received messages from other countries, brands, friends and different places telling me that they appreciate my motivational messages and my positivity,” Pickett said. “They look forward to my Instagram stories on the daily just because of that.”
Pickett tries to respond to as many messages as he can, although sometimes it is difficult.
“I try to be diligent for people who take the time to hit me up,” Pickett said. “I try to respect that and do the same for them.”
It was never an easy road for Pickett when it came to his gridiron journey.
At first, the UCLA alum got to play football in his home state of California for the Los Angeles Chargers. The marriage was not to be, however.
“I got released by the Chargers twice after the preseason and they called me back two weeks later,” Pickett said. “After two weeks, I was released again.”
Pickett was a free agent for over two months and felt disappointment creeping into his mind.
“[One day] in the morning, I was working out and I had called two people that were closest to me saying that I wasn’t making any progress and I was waking up and doing the same thing every day,” Pickett said. “They both told me that I would be alright and to just keep going.”
Pickett still kept the faith.
“I kept telling myself that whatever God has planned for me, I surrender to Him and get out of my own way just to continue to grow my life and whatever happens, happens.”
He did not have to wait that long. Just two hours later, Pickett received another message.
“I got a text message from my agent saying that he was on the phone with New England,” Pickett said. “I had visited New England in Week 2 of the regular season so I was wondering whether they were bringing me back to workout again.”
It turns out, the Patriots saw all that they needed to and offered Pickett a contract.
“I was very humbled and very excited; I was kind of in disbelief at the time,” Pickett said. “I called my brother on Facetime and started crying on the phone because it was a really emotional up-and-down year so it was really special for me.”
Only spending December in Foxborough, Pickett is excited to have the summer to show what he can do.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to showcase who I am as a player and how I am as a teammate, as well,” Pickett said. “Just being in that system for the short time that I was towards the end of the season gave me an understanding that everyone has roles and I’m really excited to see what my role is going to be and how I can create a role for myself on the New England Patriots.”