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2025 five-star defensive back DJ Pickett puts Michigan on top-five list

The Wolverines are firmly in the top group for the best defensive back in the 2025 class.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports

Announced on social media on Thursday, 2025 five-star defensive back DJ Pickett has put the Michigan Wolverines in his top-five list.

Also on his top-five are Alabama, Georgia, Miami and Oregon.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder from Tampa, Florida has visited Michigan on numerous occasions already in his young recruitment — it certainly helps that his mother is a U-M graduate and they still have family in the state of Michigan. His most recent trip to Ann Arbor was for Michigan’s big win over Ohio State back in November.

“Michigan was a nice environment,” Pickett’s father, Damien, told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong following The Game. “Electric.

“What catches our eye is that they have a plan for my son. Seems like I have met the entire staff before, including the recruiting coordinators. Really did feel like home.”

247Sports’ Andrew Ivins scouted him his fall and wrote this about Pickett:

A tall, lanky two-way playmaker with foot speed and ball production. Size and weight haven’t been verified in a while, but length is noticeable on tape. Projects best as a field corner that can take away throwing windows or a deep safety that can roam over the top. Came down with four interceptions as a sophomore and had a pick-six early on in his junior season. Will lay the lumber if the opportunity presents itself. Quickly closes gaps with his elite burst and tends to take sharper angles in run support. Has the reach to match large tight ends and perimeter targets. Will fight through hands, but must improve prowess as an open-field tackler and will eventually need to add some mass. Should be viewed as a potential impact player at the Power Five level given range and ability to generate takeaways while masking mistakes. Owns a promising profile at this stage given production on both sides of the ball and multi-sport background (district champion as a 10th grader in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and long jump). Viewed by most schools as a back-seven defender on Saturdays, but could always get a look at wide receiver.

Ivins described Pickett as a two-way player, and that is also what Michigan thinks of him as well. Damien Pickett also told Wiltfong, “The fact they talked about him playing both sides of the ball is attractive. But I love the fact they play a lot of man coverage on the outside. And Coach (Steve) Clinckscale is very honest and down to earth.”

There are no signs of Pickett shutting down his recruitment anytime soon, as he has previously stated he wants to take official visits and make a decision in the summer. This one could end up being in favor of any of these five schools, but it’s clear that Michigan has one of the top spots as of now. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Pickett is currently ranked No. 7 overall, the No. 3 cornerback and the No. 1 player in the state of Florida in the 2025 class, per 247Sports’ composite.