ROCHESTER HILLS – In a way, it’s ironic for anyone watching Rochester Adams senior Parker Picot thriving and excelling at his best sport right now during the spring.
The small twist of irony is that a few months ago during the fall, some felt the same thing while he was playing a different sport.
For any observers of high school sports who follow football and not much else, they likely know all about Picot and how much of an all-around force he was for Adams on the gridiron. He was a lockdown defensive back and a dual-threat quarterback who did just about everything for a Highlanders team that advanced to the Division 1 championship game in 2021 and a Regional Final this past November.
People probably watched and wondered where his future in college football would take him, and for good reason given Central Michigan and University of Massachusetts headlined programs that offered him football scholarships.
But if those same observers are wondering why Picot isn’t going to play college football, all they have to do is watch him play baseball for Adams this spring.
If they do, it’s likely a collective “Oh” would be coming out of their mouths.
No doubt, as good as Picot was at football, he is even better at baseball, and will rightfully pursue that sport going forward after signing with Alabama in November.
“I’ve always loved football,” Picot said. “But I enjoy baseball more.”
Entering a Tuesday game against fellow Oakland County power Lake Orion, Picot owned the career school records for home runs (19) and stolen bases (57).
Playing in a tough league and against a formidable nonconference schedule, Picot was batting .339 with six home runs, 23 RBI and 10 stolen bases this spring hitting primarily out of the No. 2 spot in the Adams lineup.
Also a hard-throwing ace pitcher, Picot was 4-0 and had allowed four earned runs in 19 innings pitched going into Tuesday.
“He’s pretty good at everything,” Adams head coach Jeff Hall said. “He’s solid all the way around. He’s a great center fielder and one of the fastest kids in the country. I think in Chicago, he ran some ridiculous 60-yard dash.”
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that there could be something even greater ahead for Picot in baseball that has nothing to do with college.
“We have about five MLB scouts at every game,” Hall said.
Whether his name is called during July’s Major League Baseball draft remains to be seen, but regardless, Picot will go down as one of Adams’ all-time greatest athletes.
All the battles he has had on the baseball and football fields probably were nothing compared to all the battles he had in the backyard growing up with older brother Nick and twin brother Tait, who also was an invaluable two-player player for Adams in football and was batting close to .400 for the baseball team this spring going into Tuesday.
It didn’t matter if it was Wiffle Ball or tackling drills, the competition was intense enough to where maybe the brothers should have charged admission for neighbors to watch.
“They were pretty intense,” Picot said. “We definitely had fun. A lot of my success comes from there. We just went at it. It was brotherly love and brotherly competition. We had fun.”
Parker and Tait Picot obviously dream of leading Adams baseball to its first MHSAA Finals championship in June before Parker begins his college career at Alabama, or even gets drafted high enough to where it becomes tempting to bypass college altogether.
Assuming Picot eventually winds up in Tuscaloosa, there will be no lobbying Alabama football coach Nick Saban or anyone else on his staff for a walk-on spot on the football team.
Picot couldn’t be more in his passion and element going full-steam ahead in baseball from this point forward.
“It’s nice,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about anything else. I can just focus in and grind on baseball.”
Keith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties
PHOTOS (Top) Rochester Adams’ Parker Picot comes to the dugout during a game against Lake Orion on May 9. (Middle) Picot looks to his third-base coach for signs while at the plate. (Photos by Keith Dunlap.)