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FSU football: Why the son of a Buc can be a breakout Seminoles playmaker

Mycah Pittman has the power and muscles of his father. Can he be the playmaking receiver the Seminoles need?
Mycah Pittman showed flashes of potential at Oregon and will try to build on them after transferring to FSU.
Mycah Pittman showed flashes of potential at Oregon and will try to build on them after transferring to FSU. [ ELAINE THOMPSON | AP (2019) ]
Published Apr. 12|Updated Apr. 12

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State receiver Mycah Pittman did not have to be on the field for one of the biggest plays in Saturday’s spring game.

The Oregon transfer was shaken up during pregame drills and was given the option to sit out of the meaningless exhibition at Doak Campbell Stadium. He declined.

“I’m a big boy,” Pittman said. “My dad raised me good.”

Related: FSU football: Newcomers impress, but old concerns remain at spring game

His dad is Michael Pittman, who spent six of his 11 seasons with the Bucs and was their leading rusher during the Super Bowl 37 run. Mycah clearly got a few things from his father.

Mycah Pittman grew up watching his dad play for the Bucs.
Mycah Pittman grew up watching his dad play for the Bucs. [ JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2002) ]

The elder Pittman had 19½-inch biceps and ran with strength. Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis calls the 5-foot-11, 201-pound Mycah “a big ball of muscle.”

The toughness is there, too, as he showed during one of Saturday’s highlights. Pittman lined up at receiver, motioned to the middle, took a handoff and powered through two defenders for a touchdown.

“That’s what he’s shown consistently,” coach Mike Norvell said. “He’s a tough football player.”

One with the potential to make a big impact for Norvell’s ‘Noles this fall.

FSU’s receiving corps was mediocre last season, which is why the Seminoles added four transfers through the portal. One of them, West Virginia’s Winston Wright, is recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident last month. Another, Illinois’ Deuce Spann (Lakewood High) is still learning the position after moving over from quarterback.

Related: Can the transfer portal save Florida recruiting?

That means FSU needs immediate production from Pittman and Arizona State transfer Johnny Wilson. After leading all players with four catches for 25 yards and rushing for a touchdown, Pittman looks like the surest bet.

“When I feel like it’s the opportunity to get the ball in my hand, Coach is putting his faith in me,” Pittman said. “And honestly, he’s built more confidence in myself because he believes in me.”

Pittman sees a chance to showcase his talents at FSU in a way he didn’t at Oregon. He started 12 games over three seasons with the Ducks under first-year Miami coach Mario Cristobal. Pittman caught 38 passes for 547 yards and two touchdowns and gained 151 yards on 15 punt returns.

Pittman’s opportunities were limited, though. The Tampa native and former top-100 national recruit said he didn’t get to show what he can do with the ball in his hands much.

Mycah Pittman, then at Oregon, looked for running room against Iowa State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Mycah Pittman, then at Oregon, looked for running room against Iowa State in the Fiesta Bowl. [ RICK SCUTERI | AP (2021) ]

“I’m a guy who doesn’t shy away from contact,” Pittman said. “I’m always thinking of how I can make the DB miss, what’s going to allow me to get those extra yards.”

If Pittman can make defenders miss on offense or special teams, he’ll be an immediate, valued contributor. Norvell says his offense is built for playmakers. Either Pittman didn’t have enough of them last year, or he didn’t use the ones he had effectively.

Pittman’s strength should help seize 50-50 passes that too often went to the opposing team last season. Norvell has a history of using versatile players — backs who can catch or receivers who can rush — creatively. If Pittman builds off his strong spring, it’s easy to envision him developing into one of FSU’s most important skill players this fall.

Mycah Pittman, seen here as a 4-year-old, shares some traits with his father, Michael, who led the Bucs in rushing during their Super Bowl 37 run.
Mycah Pittman, seen here as a 4-year-old, shares some traits with his father, Michael, who led the Bucs in rushing during their Super Bowl 37 run. [ Times (2004) ]

Though he muffed a punt in the spring game, what he called an “absolutely embarrassing” mistake, Pittman has shown flashes of success for a program that’s still looking for its first return touchdown under Norvell.

If nothing else, Pittman showed his desire to grow into that role over the weekend when he returned to an exhibition he could have skipped.

“People will say, ‘it’s spring ball, who cares about it ...’” Pittman said. “The importance of spring ball for me is discovering my identity and showing the coaches what I’m capable of doing and being a guy that the team can rely on, no matter what type of obstacle is going to come my way.”

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