2014 DT Jamiyus Pittman Is Committed to Ole Miss, but Reconsidering With a Michigan State Offer
Defensive linemen have evolved. For the most part, the “big uglies” have been banished from big-time, successful college programs. Now emerging is the quick, athletic defensive lineman looking to not only take up space, but attack. Jamiyus Pittman is one such player. The Spartan coaching staff is in heavy pursuit of the youngster, hoping to sway the talented lineman from his commitment to Ole Miss.
It is no longer an unwritten rule that colleges should refrain from recruiting a player after he gives a verbal commitment. Thus it came as no surprise that Pittman continued to receive interest from a number of programs after he committed to Ole Miss on May 30. Schools such as Florida State and North Carolina State remained in hot pursuit of the Moultrie, Georgia native. Not to be deterred, Michigan State offered Pittman a scholarship one day later. Impressed with the youngster’s quickness, hand speed and size, the Spartan coaching staff decided to pull the trigger and offer Pittman a spot in MSU’s 2014 recruiting class.
The current Ole Miss commit recently joined Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. on Spartan Nation Radio to talk about Michigan State and his recruitment.
For a coaching staff looking to continue a tradition of defensive excellence in East Lansing, finding a quick defensive lineman to anchor the front seven is a good place to start. Pittman has the potential to be that special, Jerel Worthy-type of player, which explains why Dantonio and Co. decided to pursue Pittman.
The rising senior at Colquitt County High School has remarkable athleticism for a defensive tackle. He slides past opposing offensive linemen with ease, using his hands and feet to escape their clutches. Pittman’s quickness sets him apart from other linemen of his recruiting class. Standing at 6’2, 286 pounds, Pittman calls his athleticism a “God-given gift. I wasn’t this big when I was younger, so I guess I just stuck with it. And I just stayed [at] this weight.”
While watching Pittman, his quickness is most apparent in his first step. He displays an explosive burst from his stance, leaving offensive linemen in the dust. Pittman’s ability to quickly pop up from his stance grants him a distinct advantage over his opponents. In explaining his skill, Pittman said, “I have great coaching at my high school level. They coached me up on first step, my steps and all that.”
Speed is not Pittman’s only calling card, however. The youngster uses his hands quite effectively, deflecting blocks and evading would-be blockers in his pursuit of the ball carrier. Pittman’s hands, and his pass rushing moves, make him an even more valued commodity to a market that craves great defensive linemen.
“I’ve just been working with my coaches,” Pittman said of his moves. “And even in my spare time sometimes at school I work on it. I just feel like I have to know how to do it in order to play at the next level.”
Mississippi was attracted to Pittman’s quickness and potential. Pittman’s cousin, Bobby Hill, is also an Ole Miss commit — a class of 2013 cornerback. But Michigan State’s offer caught Pittman’s attention, causing him to rethink his decision. The reason for his interest in the Spartans? “The way they [the MSU coaching staff] act. They were just telling me before they offered me they had to see what type of person I was,” he said. “I understood that 100 percent. You can’t just go and offer somebody [when] you don’t know their background. You don’t know what type of person they are.”
The MSU coaching staff certainly knows now that Pittman is an upstanding young man worthy of wearing the Green and White. Pittman also knows what it takes to be a Spartan and be a part of a tradition of excellence, something that appeals to him. “They have one of the top defenses in the nation. That gets my attention.”
The next step for Pittman is visiting Michigan State. He plans on scheduling a visit to East Lansing this week, but did not say when he thinks he will be making the long trek from Moultrie to East Lansing. Regardless of when he steps onto campus, Pittman knows what he is looking for. “I want to see how the people act, the people that I have to be around when I’m not doing football,” the exciting recruit said. “I want to see how the players interact with each other. That’s about it.”
Throughout the whole recruiting process, Pittman’s parents have been supportive. They did not attempt to sway their son to one school or another. “My parents are involved a pretty good bit. They just told me that it’s up to me, it’s my decision,” Pittman explained.
As far as parents, Pittman knows that he is blessed. His mom has been particularly influential on his life. “She just kept me straight. They [Pittman’s parents] never let me get out of hand. They just stayed on me about school and things like that.” Jamiyus also pointed out an all-important truth: “You always gotta be scared of your mama.”
His parents are part of the reason for Pittman’s desire to obtain a college degree. The young man has promised himself that he will get that all-important piece of paper, no matter what. “That’s going to mean so much. No matter how good I am, I’m graduating,” Pittman said. “I’m going to get my education first before I do anything.”
Where Pittman will graduate from is undetermined, but Michigan State is certainly in the running for the honor. Though he has given a verbal commitment to Ole Miss, Pittman is deeply intrigued at the thought of being a Spartan. The special young player with outstanding quickness and great moves would certainly look great in the Green and White.