High School Sports

SSC players reaffirm college football pledges after official visits

St. Stanislaus tight end Darius Pittman visited Purdue last weekend. He recently had an in-home visit with Purdue assistant coach Tony Levine. A former Western Kentucky pledge, Pittman committed to Purdue on Dec. 14.
St. Stanislaus tight end Darius Pittman visited Purdue last weekend. He recently had an in-home visit with Purdue assistant coach Tony Levine. A former Western Kentucky pledge, Pittman committed to Purdue on Dec. 14.

St. Stanislaus tight end Darius Pittman and receiver Corbin Blanchard traveled the country last weekend, taking official visits to Purdue and Air Force, respectively.

Both said their visits helped reaffirm their pledges. Blanchard committed to Air Force back in October over interest from Cornell, Army, Columbia and other schools. Pittman, a one-time Western Kentucky commit, committed to Purdue in December after the Boilermakers hired Hilltoppers coach Jeff Brohm.

“The visit was perfect,” Pittman said Thursday. “I definitely felt very wanted there. We have new facilities coming in, so I’m ready to be in those.

“If I didn’t have to come back, I wouldn’t have. I would have stayed. I really liked it up there. Everything was perfect.”

While the trips to both campuses were tailored to the individual school, the format was somewhat the same. Friday was mostly spent learning about the schools and their academics. Saturday was all about football.

Pittman particularly appreciated position coach Tony Levine’s film session.

“He showed me game film from Western Kentucky because they don’t have film at Purdue yet,” he said. “Then he went and critiqued my highlights because he’s a perfectionist. I loved it because I’m trying to be the best I can be.”

Pittman was a reliable receiver for the Rockachaws, catching 61 passes for 690 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s the only tight end committed to the Boilermakers and Pittman said it’s not unreasonable he could earn early playing time. The key word there is “earn,” however.

“They definitely think I can play right away, but it’s all on me,” he said. “They told me to get my body ready for August. If I’m ready to play, they’ll play me.

“It’s basically all on me.”

Levine followed up the official visit with an in-home visit Wednesday, which Pittman described as “great.” He said he’s hoping Brohm visits the Coast next week to take in one of SSC’s basketball games. Pittman will sign with Purdue on signing day, which is Feb. 1, and hopes to be enrolled in early June.

Heading to Air Force

Blanchard said he enjoyed visiting Colorado Springs for a second time, acknowledging he could get used to the different scenery.

“It snowed twice while I was up there, which was very strange compared to what I’m used to,” he said. “It was beautiful during the day. When the sun set behind the mountains, it got a little cold, but nothing unbearable.

“It was my first ‘real’ snow that I’ve seen. I’m excited. I want to get into it.”

As for the campus, Blanchard came away impressed.

“It’s just a different place. You can tell there’s something different about it,” he said. “I really like the atmosphere there. I feel very comfortable there and I’m very comfortable with my choice.”

Like Pittman, Blanchard was a go-to receiver, hauling in team highs with 62 receptions for 1,184 yards and 18 touchdowns. It may take a bit longer for Blanchard to be a go-to target with the Falcons, but he’s OK with that.

“They had a big senior class just graduate, but I don’t expect to play my freshman year,” he said. “I’ll still be learning the ropes. It’ll be a tough first semester learning to balance everything, but honestly it’ll depend how I progress also.

“If you’re the best, you’re playing.”

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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