One of the area’s top juniors, Jameson Pickel, a converted defenseman who plays for John Jay, has given an oral commitment to Johns Hopkins.
Pickel becomes just the second Indian to play at Hopkins, joining 2004 graduate Matt Bocklet, a defenseman who helped the Blue Jays win the national title in 2007. Like Bocklet, Pickel is known for his ability to help his team gain possession by getting ground balls.
“Jameson is a hard-working kid that we moved from middie to defense last year,” John Jay coach Nick Savastano said. “He is very intelligent with great footwork and explosiveness on ground balls. He will fit the Hopkins mold perfectly.”
Pickel also visited Towson and was considering Army and Notre Dame.
“My family and I had been discussing it a lot over Christmas,” Pickel said “I loved the school when I visited and felt it was the best decision for me.”
Pickel started playing lacrosse and baseball as a third-grader, before committing to lax exclusively in sixth grade. Since then, he has spent plenty of Memorial Day weekends watching the Blue Jays play for a national championship.
“I didn’t really have a favorite (college) team growing up, but I always liked Hopkins,” he said. “Their program is so strong and consistent.”
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Pickel, who also plays football at John Jay, is the son of Bill Pickel, who played in the NFL for 12 seasons as a defensive lineman with the Raiders and Jets. Bill Pickel, who grew up in Queens and played college football at Rutgers, never played lacrosse himself. But the sport has quickly become a family affair.
Pickel’s brother, Will, plays lacrosse at Bucknell, and like Jameson, is a converted defenseman (from midfield). His sister, Katherine, was a senior captain last year on John Jay’s girls lacrosse team.
“I feel more natural playing lacrosse than football,” Jameson said,
Pickel is the second highly regarded junior from the area to commit to Hopkins and third player overall. Kevin Interlicchio, the 12th-ranked junior in the nation by Inside Lacrosse Magazine, has also verbally committed.
Another ‘Husker, midfielder John Ranagan, the 35th-ranked senior in the nation by Inside Lacrosse, has signed a national letter of intent to play with the Blue Jays. The three future teammates will all be on the same field this upcoming varsity season when John Jay hosts Yorktown for the teams’ annual showdown on May 15 at 7 p.m. at John Jay High School.
• “John Jay’s Pickel commits to Hopkins”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20090109/SPORTS02/901090380/-1/SPORTS
• “Recuiting updates for the Class of 2010”:http://boyslacrosse.lohudblogs.com/2008/09/01/recruiting-updates-for-class-of-2010/