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UCLA safety Adarius Pickett will return for final season

By in Press Enterprise on January 5, 2018

By Thuc Nhi Nguyen

Adarius Pickett has unfinished business in Westwood.

One day after two of UCLA’s offensive stars declared for the NFL draft, the redshirt junior safety announced he will return to school for his final season, allowing the Bruins to keep one of their defensive leaders.

Enough said #4sUp pic.twitter.com/e8MweFA1IC

— Adarius Khyree (@Pick6Pickett) January 5, 2018

“Bruin Nation we have one more year together,” Pickett wrote on social media. “To my teammates, we got some work to do.”

Pickett was the team’s second-leading tackler this season with 85, adding four tackles for loss and one interception as the Bruins had one of the worst defensive seasons in program history. The hard-hitting safety often played close to the line of scrimmage to help shore up a leaky defense that finished last in the country in rushing yards allowed per game (287.4).

The Richmond native could be one of three returning starters for UCLA’s secondary, joining freshman cornerback Darnay Holmes and junior cornerback Nate Meadors, although Meadors is also eligible for the draft. Opposing quarterbacks completed 57.2 percent of their passes against the Bruins this year, the sixth-lowest mark in the Pac-12 this year.

Entering the season, Pickett was projected as a second-day draft pick by Pro Football Focus. He has already received his degree in political science, which he completed in three years, and would have been a candidate for a graduate transfer.

UCLA has lost three juniors to the NFL draft already, led by quarterback Josh Rosen. Receiver Jordan Lasley and offensive tackle Kolton Miller have also declared for the draft.

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