Barret Pickering has never kicked a football in front of Nebraska coaches yet holds a scholarship offer from the Huskers.

In his experience, this is unusual.

The junior from Hoover (Ala.) High School has been evaluated just about everywhere he’s gone lately. Unofficial visits to Florida, Texas and Notre Dame. Another to Vanderbilt, which extended an offer to Pickering on April 17 — three days after Nebraska became the first school to propose to him a full ride.

“Most kickers don’t usually get offers until camps in the summer or the end of their senior year,” Pickering told The World-Herald over the weekend. “So I’m pretty fortunate to hold two offers right now.”

The 6-foot, 175-pound kicker said he has been in touch with Nebraska coach Mike Riley as well as graduate manager and special teams assistant Nick Smith the last two months. He attended NU’s spring game and left impressed by the crowd, facilities and academic options. He shared a meal with senior-to-be and returning kicker Drew Brown along with sophomore punter Caleb Lightbourn that weekend and “had a great time.”

Nebraska still knows plenty about Pickering, who is rated the No. 2 kicker nationally and a five-star prospect at the position by the specialist evaluator Kohl’s Kicking. He made all 49 of his extra-point tries last fall and 20 of 27 field goals, including a long of 49 yards and two four-kick games. His 42-yarder in Hoover’s final game helped Birmingham’s largest suburb win the state title in Class 7A. A member of the MaxPreps 2016 Junior All-American team, he also sent 66 of his 79 kickoffs for touchbacks.

Pickering is rated a 4.5-star punter and No. 29 nationally at that spot, but said college coaches want him to focus on field goals and kickoffs at the next level.

“(Nebraska) told me they wanted the best and they want this class to be one of the best classes they’ve ever had,” Pickering said. “It was just really humbling to hear that.”

Vanderbilt is the only other school to extend him an offer, Pickering said, and none have told him one is imminent. He’d like to secure his future before his senior year, he said, and will choose between the two schools that have shown him a true commitment.

“I’ll probably make my decision pretty soon,” Pickering said. “Probably within weeks.”

Pickering often gives a few hops on his left foot after kicking and points his right arm at the ball’s flight path. A soccer midfielder until his dad convinced him to try football as a freshman in high school, he said he can consistently hit from 60 yards with no wind.

He also likes to golf, and likens the mental challenge of that sport to what occurs on the gridiron. No shots are the same, and a short memory is critical.

“I don’t have the biggest leg out there and I’m not the most consistent,” Pickering said. “But I have a pretty good balance of kicking it far and kicking it pretty accurately.”

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