The Washington Times - December 21, 2012, 02:16PM

Maryland coach Randy Edsall offered praise Friday for sophomore tailback Justus Pickett, who departed the program earlier this month for family reasons.

“This happened a couple weeks before the season was even over,” Edsall said. “It was just a tough situation for him and his family that he’s going through and the whole family’s going through. I give the young man a lot of credit in terms of doing what he’s going to be doing.”


The Charlotte, N.C., native was one of the first recruits to commit specifically to Edsall and his staff, choosing Maryland shortly after signing day in 2011.

Pickett played in all 12 games this past season, rushing for 142 yards and three touchdowns. He started four games, but eventually settled into a role as a third-down back in the final half of the season.

Pickett also had 19 receptions (third-most on the roster) for 138 yards and a touchdown.

“I told him I would support him in any way I could,” Edsall said. “I told him ‘Here’s a couple options that you have, but ultimately you have to decide what’s best for you and your family.’ He just felt it would be best to be there with them because his dad wasn’t going to be able to be there, he needed to be. He’s the oldest [child], so he just felt from a family situation this would be the best thing for him to do.”

—- Patrick Stevens