“There’s no way.”
That’s the immediate thought when you see Michael Pittman, a four-star wide receiver from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian. At 6-foot-4.5 and 210 pounds, “there’s no way that guy is a high school junior” is the first thought that goes through your mind.
Pittman has an imposing physicality that you can’t help but notice. It’s something Division I football coaches have been doing a lot of lately. The soft UCLA commit has been gaining more offers and traction as one of the top receivers on the West Coast.
Currently, Pittman is listed as one of the top 50 players in the 2016 class and the No. 3 wide out on the West Coast. He is the No. 7 overall wide receiver prospect.
And it doesn’t seem that Pittman is done growing yet, making it feasible that he could end up playing a position other than wide receiver in college.
If he were to gain some more mass, Pittman has the potential to move inside to the tight end position or focus on his first love — defense, where he has the potential to play a hybrid outside linebacker role similar to what Su’a Cravens played for USC this season.
But USC is one of a handful of schools that isn’t considering Pittman on the defensive side. The Trojans like him at receiver where he brings a rare combination of size, speed and physicality.
“They want me to fit into their offense to be the big, tall receiver that can go up and get it for them,” Pittman said.
He attended USC’s Elite Junior Invite in January to gain a better understanding of the program and community. Pittman came away impressed by the Trojans’ coaching staff.
“I’m really close with them,” Pittman said. “I really like their coaches, so that’s what’s keeping my interest in them.”
Pittman is primarily being recruited by receivers coach Tee Martin and tight ends coach Marques Tuiasasopo, who was an AFC West division rival of Pittman’s father, Michael Pittman Sr., in both to their final seasons in 2008. Pittman Sr. played was playing for Denver while Tuiasasopo was finishing his time in Oakland. Collegiately, Pittman St. played at Fresno State.
While the younger Pittman committed to UCLA during his junior season, it may not be his final destination. Pittman said he plans to try to take some unofficial visits to LSU, Baylor and Texas A&M before his senior season begins. He is keeping an open mind.
“Nothing’s really set until I’m at the college for the first day of summer ball,” he said.
“I like their coaching staff too,” Pittman said of UCLA. “I like their facilities. I like their area and I like their school, but the main thing is depth. Wherever I see that I can play first is probably where I’m going to end up at.”
And there’s no way a school is going to want to miss out on Pittman’s talents. Here’s some of Michael Pittman’s highlights from the 2014 season: