The college recruiting process has been on Darius Pittman’s mind for some time.
A week ago the St. Stanislaus tight end released a Top 3 that included Western Kentucky, South Alabama and Colorado State. At the time, he said a commitment might come in 2-3 weeks.
Monday, Pittman went ahead and took the plunge, committing to the Hilltoppers on Twitter.
“I'm ready. The season is coming up and I just wanted to get it all out of the way and focus on the season,” Pittman said Monday after announcing his commitment on Twitter. “It's a lot off my shoulders.
“I need to focus on winning a state championship more than just getting college offers.”
Pittman also had offers from Southern Miss, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas-San Antonio, Troy, Nicholls State, UAB and Idaho.
A major factor in Pittman’s decision was Western Kentucky’s distance from the Coast. Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, WKU is a healthy trek from South Mississippi.
“One advantage Western Kentucky has over South Alabama is it’s away from Mississippi and I’m trying to get away from Mississippi,” Pittman said. “I’ve lived here my whole life and I want to see something new.”
Another big draw is WKU’s offensive scheme. The Hilltoppers were one of the nation’s top passing offenses a year ago, averaging 372.2 yards through the air per game.
That’s exactly what Pittman wanted to see from his suitors. After transferring from Gulfport to SSC prior to his junior season, Pittman was one of the Coast’s top receivers. He finished his junior campaign with 56 receptions for 926 yards and nine touchdowns.
“They had a tight end (Tyler Higbee) go to NFL this past year. They said I remind them of him,” Pittman said. “They throw the ball a lot and we throw the ball a lot. I'm a pass catching tight end so I really think I fit well in their offense.”
While Pittman has verbally committed to WKU, he said he doesn’t plan on shutting down his recruitment and still plans to take his full allotment official visits.
Pittman is the latest Coast standout to commit in a loaded 2017 senior class.
SSC quarterback Myles Brennan (LSU) and tight end Chase Rogers (Tennessee) have already committed, as have Ocean Springs receiver Austin Williams (Mississippi State), Gautier lineman Paul Gainer (Mississippi State), Pascagoula lineman James Jackson (Mississippi State), East Central lineman Conner Estes (Louisiana Tech) and D’Iberville defensive back Tyler Barnes (Southern Miss).