<
>

USC adds ESPN 300 WR Michael Pittman

13h

The Trojans added a verbal from an ESPN 300 wide receiver over the weekend when Michael Pittman announced via his Twitter account that he was committing to USC.

Pittman becomes the third receiver commit for the Trojans in the Class of 2016 and, at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, he follows a pattern that is developing at the receiver spot of adding big-bodied players under coach Steve Sarkisian's watch.

In his first recruiting class as head coach at USC, the Class of 2014, Sarkisian signed JuJu Smith (6-foot-2, 215) and Smith went on to have a solid freshman season while projecting to be the lead receiver for the Trojans this year.

In the Class of 2015, Sarkisian signed a pair of 6-foot-4 junior college receivers in De'Quan Hampton and Isaac Whitney, both of whom are showing in spring and summer drills that they will likely have an immediate impact on the rotation this fall.

In addition to Pittman, the Trojans have a verbal commit for the Class of 2016 from Josh Imatorbhebhe, who checks in at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. USC is also considered to be the favorite for 6-foot-2 Tyler Vaughns, who is expected to announce his college choice later this summer.

This isn't to say that every USC receiver is going to need to have that kind of height in order to play for the Trojans, there is also a current verbal from 5-foot-11 Velus Jones, while the current roster features explosive receivers such as Steven Mitchell (5-foot-10) and two-way star Adoree' Jackson (5-foot-11). But it does give an indication of the importance that Sarkisian places on having bigger, more physical receivers available to him as part of that position group.

Sarkisian was an assistant coach at USC under Pete Carroll when there was so much success with 6-foot-5 receivers such as Mike Williams and Dwayne Jarrett, and he knows the value those players can have with breaking tackles after a bubble screen or creating mismatches in the red zone.

A quick check of Pittman's scouting report on ESPN includes the following:

"Big, physical receiver. Has good length to extend for the football as a pass catcher; displays the ability to position his body to box out defender versus the jump ball."

The desire for height isn't limited to receivers either, last year Sarkisian signed 6-foot-6 tight end Tyler Petite and he also has a verbal for this class from 6-foot-7 tight end Cary Angeline.

When it comes to his pass-catching options, Sarkisian is certainly following the mantra to "go big."