Does UCLA Still Have a Shot With 4-star ATH Michael Pittman?

Nov. 20 -- UCLA is still trying with Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian four-star athlete Michael Pittman, the one-time Bruin pledge who's now committed to USC...

Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian athlete Michael Pittman (6-4, 210), is looking forward to tonight's matchup with La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat.

The Lions will feature an Amat squad that will have two future teammates of Pittman at USC with Tyler Vaughns and Trevon Sidney.

That is, if the new coaching hire at USC is one that Pittman feels comfortable with and is done with enough time before Pittman enrolls in January.

"I'm pretty much closed up with USC," said Pittman. "But I have a backup plan in case the coaching staff goes out and someone comes in that changes up the whole system. The reason I have that backup plan is because I'm an early enrollee. So if change does come, I hope it will happen before I get there.

If it were up to Pittman, interim coach Clay Helton would be named the permanent head coach.

"Ever since Coach Helton came on, they're 4-1 and they're doing great, so I can't see how they don't let Coach Helton keep the team.  He's doing a great job."

But Pittman acknowledges that it's ultimately not his call.

"Then again, I don't know what's best for USC.  But that is my preference.  Coach Helton, I think he's a great head coach."

USC receivers coach Tee Martin and tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo are the primary ones recruiting Pittman and he's hoping they stay on board too.

"That does have an impact on me too, but then again, I can't see them getting rid of those coaches," said Pittman.  "Because I feel like that would flip up their recruiting class and it would be devastating."

Pittman was once a UCLA commit and the Bruin coaches continue to make themselves available to Pittman, who was actually the first recruit to commit to the Bruins in their 2016 class before opening things up and ultimately choosing the Trojans.

"Coach Angus (McClure) contacted me last week and they're still talking with me," said Pittman.  "I wouldn't say they're heavy on me, but they've said that if anything happened with my commitment, they'd love to have me back."

Pittman was at a UCLA game earlier this year and also went to a Bruin practice not long after former USC head coach Steve Sarkisian was let go, but Pittman just said it was about doing due dilligence.

"Like I said, it's just making sure I have a backup plan in place," said Pittman.  "I mean, I don't have an official school as a backup, there is no set school.  I only have 12 offers so I would pick from those 12 options."

Pittman signed financial aid papers with USC earlier this fall, binding USC to him, but not him to USC.

Still, USC is still the heavy favorite tol land the Scout 100 prospect when it's all said and done.

"I mean, I'm signed with USC and pretty much closed up, I just have a backup plan in case," said Pittman, who will officially visit the second weekend in December.

In January, before he enrolls in college, Pittman will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, fulfilling a childhood dream.

"That was a childhood dream," said Pittman.  "I've been watching it every year for as long as I can remember, since I was little, so I'm happy to get that chance and honored to play for our veterans and our soldiers.  It's a real honor that I can represent my school and family and put on a show for our country."

But before he gets to San Antonio, Pittman's focus is on winning Oaks' first CIF-SS Pac-5 title, a road that gets tougher when they face Bishop Amat on the road.

"This should be a great game and I'm looking forward to seeing Trevon and Tyler and I think we'll have some good competition and there will probably be some trash talking cause we're future teammates.  But I think it will be a great game," said Pittman.

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