Instead, his rise from “sitting on the bench to being the team superstar” has propelled him into another echelon of recruiting. With that have come a number of other offers and options. That’s why the four-star prospect listed as the No. 2 athlete in the West decided to decommit from the Bruins last week.
“I feel like I just committed too early,” Pittman said. “I just didn’t explore all of my options at the time. I jumped on [the UCLA offer] real quick because I thought that was going to be my final option.”
When Pittman backed away from his pledge to UCLA, a number of teams came out of the woodwork to try to attract his services, including schools all the way across the country like Clemson. Pittman listened, but eventually he had to tell the other schools that it wasn’t going to happen.
Pittman doesn’t have a long list of teams he’s looking at. He’s whittled that down to an either/or situation.
“Yea. My top two are USC and Oregon,” he said. “Both of them have possibilities of winning a national championship. USC is getting off sanctions and they’re going to be on the come up. Also, coaches at both schools are great coaches.”
After visiting USC in the past week, Pittman really liked the campus and being close to home. Now he’s off to Eugene, leaving today to take an unofficial visit and check out what the Ducks have to offer as well as how he fits in at Oregon. Then he plans to put the two schools side-by-side.
“I’m going to be comparing the two and then I’ll probably make my decision later on — probably before the first game of my high school season.”
USC wants Pittman to come in as a big-bodied receiver that can make plays over the middle for first downs or on the outside for big plays. He’s been showing off that ability this summer, catching almost everything thrown his way on the 7-on-7 circuit.
According to Pittman, the USC coaches have mapped out a plan for him to get some playing time as a freshman and then being ready to go full-bore his sophomore season. One intriguing thing USC offers is its recent run of pro receivers.
“It helps a lot because it tells me that they can produce NFL talent, which is what my ultimate goal is.”
Pittman wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, also Michael, who played running back in the NFL for 11 seasons after a successful career at Fresno State. His father has played a large role in helping the junior Pittman weed through the recruiting process.
“It’s huge because he’s been through everything I’m going through now and he just kind of guides me through it,” Pittman said. “He’s just said take it slow and don’t buy into all these bells and whistles. Figure out what works for you and what’s going to get you to your ultimate goal.”
Check out these 2014 highlights of Oaks Christian wideout Michael Pittman: