TAMPA – Born into a family of athletes, 2019 running back Matthew Pittman has carved out a role for himself at Jesuit.
The 5’10”, 215-pounder has both his dad, Michael, a former Division II football player at Southern Connecticut and his mom, Amy, a Division III field hockey player at Western Connecticut to look up to.
Pittman has served as a nice change of pace/goal line back for the Tigers. As a sophomore, he turned 64 carries into 307 yards and five rushing touchdowns serving as a compliment to current UF star Malik Davis.
This past season, Pittman carried the ball 43 times for 231 yards (5.4 YPC) and two touchdowns.
However, he suffered an MCL injury in the opening game against Durant. Pittman had 13 carries for 85 yards in that matchup. He returned to play in the final five games of the season.
Pittman says it was rough getting injured, but he was able to recover and come back stronger.
“I learned that my team will always have my back and that even though we lost some games,” Pittman told Prep Sports Scouting. “We will be alright in the end.”
2018 defensive end and Harvard commit Anthony Nelson certainly has Pittman’s back. He called Pittman someone who is really hard to tackle and someone who should flourish.
Pittman reminisced about his sophomore campaign where he was able to learn from Davis and had nothing but great things to say.
“Malik [Davis] is one of the best players I’ve ever seen. It was pretty amazing to be able to watch how he runs and then try to tweak some things on how I play,” Pittman said. “His presence was noticed every time he was on the field. We had a good relationship as the running backs would go out to dinner once a week and it was always a good time for learning and brotherhood.”
Starting his football career at age 8, Pittman was a lineman at first. He talked to his coach then saying he could do more and then became a fullback and linebacker/defensive end.
“I usually played iron man football which was the entire game on both sides of the field and special teams,” Pittman said. “I gained my confidence throughout the years knowing that if I tried hard enough and put in the eﬀort I could always be better.”
He says he’s played sports ever since he can remember. In 7th grade, he played rugby when he lived in Virginia. He also played basketball for a few seasons and has golfed since the age of 6.
In terms of his best attribute, Pittman called that his strength.
“I was always a big guy and I’ve always been told that people hate going up against me because I’m so hard to tackle,” he said.
Pittman is looking forward to his senior year for various reasons. Ricky Parks (2021) and Nick Spurlin (2020) are the other pure backs on the roster. Pittman is the purest running back option Jesuit has.
“I really feel that if I’m on the field I will find a way to make a diﬀerence in the game,” he said. “This is one of the most important seasons for me and I know it’s going to be a good one.”
No offers have come yet for the rising senior, but he says a few Division I schools have reached out and shown interest. He’s been to some junior days and camps this spring already.
Pittman loves to play for head coach Matt Thompson. Hired in Dec. 2012, Thompson has guided the Tigers to four district titles in the past five years and a 47-16 overall record.
“Coach Thompson is a great coach and really knows the game,” Pittman said. “He has a great relationship with his players and has found the best coaches to help him get the team to where we are today.”
On a Friday night during high school football season, Corral Memorial Stadium serves as one of the rowdiest environments. Pittman enjoys playing in front of his home fans.
“I love playing at our stadium. I’m so lucky to have this opportunity to be at Jesuit and the school is amazing,” he says. “The field is the best one that I’ve ever played on and I have to say it’s nice to not be covered in dirt after every game or practice.”
Pittman calls his mother his biggest model.
“She’s worked hard her entire life and recently retired and is my biggest fan,” he said.
Also, his cousin Lance Thomas, a former Duke standout and member of the New York Knicks is someone Pittman lists as a role model.
“It’s awesome that I’ve been able to spend time with him and watch him play and I look up him for his work ethic, kindness and intelligence,” Pittman said.
The next step for Pittman is to earn a scholarship offer as he says he wants to play football in college. However, if it doesn’t work out, he’d like to be a coach or work in sports medicine to stay around sports.
Smart, disciplined and grateful, Pittman has made the most of each and every one of his opportunities these past few seasons at Jesuit. The Tigers offense lost its identity without him for much of 2017. With Pittman back to 100 percent, I expect him to pound the rock and make life tough for opposing defenses every Friday.
Favorite players to watch – Marshawn Lynch
Playlist before games – Eminem and other rap
Favorite movies – Black Panther
Favorite TV shows – Breaking Bad
Game film: Pittman’s Hudl tape
Photo credit: Jesuit Tampa
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
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