Coming out of his junior season, Summit baseball player Corey Pickens had no real aspirations to continue his baseball career past high school.Batting was the first baseman’s key talent and he hit just .220 as a junior, leading him to believe he might not have what it takes to play at the next level.A year later, Pickens would have an offer to play Division 1 baseball.It took the support of his mother, who knew he had what it took from the time he was eight years old, and the respect of a rival coach to ultimately create the opportunity.Both Pickens and his mother agreed, once he made up his mind that he would not try and play college baseball, he began to loosen up and have fun playing baseball again. “She always had more confidence in me than I did,” Pickens said.That laid-back approach to the game led to an astronomically improved season his senior year, batting .425 for Summit, hitting 7 home runs and 41 RBIs on the season. Included in those season totals was a .488 batting average in district play. It’s easy to see how numbers like those began to raise Pickens’ confidence more and more as the season continued, and he raised eyebrows of coaches around the area.He was selected to both the North Texas Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game, in which he belted a double off the wall, and the Texas High School Coaches All-Star Game in Round Rock, going 1-for-3 with another double.His nomination to both of these games began a spark that ultimately rekindled his desire to play college baseball.“It made me realize that maybe I’m one of the better ones all around, because I’ve doubted myself,” Pickens said.The problem with this decision is he came to this conclusion very late in the game, when most players had already signed with their future homes. Pickens spent his summer around the all-star games traveling the state, participating in tryouts at Tyler Junior College, Brookhaven and Temple. However, none showed much interest in the slugger.Ultimately, it was the faith a rival coach, Legacy’s David Walden, that presented Pickens with not only the opportunity to play college ball, but to do it at the DI level.“A guy that played for me at Weatherford high school is the pitching coach at Stephen F. Austin,” Walden said. “He called and asked if I knew of any players in this area that might have been overlooked and I gave him Corey’s name, and a recommendation that they really needed to take a good hard look at him because I felt he had been overlooked by a lot of people.”Walden coached Pickens in the North Texas all-star game and said he saw how he excelled in a game in which many other Division I signees struggled to produce. That phone call earned Pickens a chance to showcase his talent to SFA coaches last Wednesday and earned the slugger a walk-on spot for the Lumberjacks next season. All that’s remains for Pickens to do to see his dream come true is sign his name on the dotted line.