Hagerty LB Nathan Pittman commits to Youngstown State

Orlando Sentinel

Nathan Pittman thought about waiting until later in the football season before making a commitment to the college of his choice.

But the senior linebacker at Hagerty High in Oviedo grew so comfortable with Youngstown State, he figured why wait? He committed to Football Championship Subdivision member on  Monday becoming the third area commitment to the Penguins this year.

He joins 2013 grads B.J. Welch, a defensive back from Maitland Orangewood Christian and Ian Banks-Tillman, a running back from Winter Park. Both players signed with the Ohio school in February.

 “It’s a huge relief. I wanted to commit sometime during the season, but then it just hit me that this is the school I want to go to ... it’s where I want to be,” said Pittman, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound backer with good speed who has great instincts and reaction to the ball. He’s a heady player who has started for three seasons at Hagerty.

He picked Youngstown over his only other offer, which was from Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C.

“It was like a 50-50 shot at first and I visited both schools this summer. It really was going to come down to whoever recruited me hardest,” Pittman said. “I could have seen myself at both places, I loved both, and there were obviously other variables to it, but Youngstown showed they wanted me more.”

Pittman plans his official visit for later in the season when the Penguins face two-time defending FCS national champion North Dakota State on Nov. 16. YSU is 2-0 this season with easy wins over Dayton (28-10) and Morehead State (67-13)

His commitment gives him a comfort level that will help him focus more on the season at hand. Pittman won’t be worried about whether more offers are coming in the future, a fate on which so many seniors tend to depend every winter.

“Obviously it would be nice to get an FBS offer, sure, but at this point in time I’m still a little bit lower on the recruiting charts than that,” said Pittman, who currently sits in an honorable mention spot just out of the Sentinel’s 2014 Super60.

“Rather than worry about where I stand with the others, Youngstown State showed me they wanted me just as much as I wanted a program that would give me the opportunity to play.”

 He’s been a consistent performer for Hagerty and in the first two games this season has 15 tackles, but the Huskies are off to an 0-2 start.

“Both are heartbreaking. We had a chance at the end of the game against Lake Brantley … then against Lake Howell we just played terrible,” Pittman said. “People shouldn’t base the type of team we are on how we performed in those two games or teams are going to get upset and be shocked at how we perform the rest of the season.”

They’ll have their third chance to get in the win column Thursday with a date at Winter Springs, which is also 0-2. Pittman knows as one of the main senior leaders, it’s his responsibility to rally his teammates.

“We’ve just gotta keep positive and keep their heads in the game,” Pittman said. “We can’t let a non-district game effect the rest of season. Those aren’t the games that are going to get us into the playoffs and that’s the ultimate goal. We got Winter Springs next and hopefully we can play hard and get a win before our first district game so we can get some momentum going into next week with Oviedo.”

Pittman also plays fullback and is the second commitment of this year's Hagerty senior class, joining quarterback Jason Driskel, who has committed to FAU.


Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@tribune.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.

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