June 5, 2011

MSU in Top 5 for Pittman

Canton (Ohio) McKinley's Se'Von Pittman is perhaps the highest-ranked player in the country for whom Michigan State is a legitimate contender, at this time. The Spartans are by no means the favorite for Pittman, an athletic, mean defensive end ranked the No. 61 player in the nation by Rivals.com, but Michigan State is squarely in the conversation.

"He has some schools that he speaks highly of in every conversation," said McKinley head coach Ron Johnson, "and that's Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame and then he will throw a wild card in there every once in a while and say, 'I'm going to go down south. I'm going to see Auburn and Alabama. I just want to check them out.'"

On May 25, Pittman told Rivals.com that his final five are Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Auburn and Alabama.

"Everybody is recruiting him in a different way," Johnson said. "The Unique thing about Pitt is he is 251 pounds right now and he can be an end in a 3-4 and play into the flat, or come off the edge and be fine doing that. Or he has the body that if you wanted him to be 285 or 290 and put his hand in the dirt inside, he could be that also. He just has that frame that he could whatever kind athlete you want him to be."

The 6-foot-5 Pittman is listed at 245 in the Rivals.com database, but weighed in at 251 last Thursday for Johnson at McKinley.

"His work habits are great," Johnson said. "He follows Steve Miller's template, and Steve is a great young man."

Steve Miller starred at Canton McKinley last year, and was ranked the No. 167 player in the nation by Rivals.com. He signed with Ohio State.

"Steve gave him a good example to follow and Pitt takes it one step above," Johnson said. "He is relentless in the weight room as well. He works hard at it. He always want to work on his skills. He is very invested in his future as a football player."

Attitude and on-field energy are plusses for Pittman.

"He has an incredible motor," Johnson said. "He is relentless and he plays with intent to hurt. I mean he plays very angry. He has bad intentions when he is playing.

"Where he really stepped up was when Steve Miller got hurt in the first half of our week nine game. It was a critical game and he kind of took over the game.

"Of course our week 10 game against Massilon is always a huge game and he dominated in that one as well. He's just a player, period."

Johnson, who is in his third year at McKinley, said Pittman reminds him of JoJuan Armour, an intense linebacker whom Johnson coached at the college level when he was an assistant at Miami of Ohio.

"JoJuan had the same kind of personality, the same kind of attitude on the football field," Johnson said.

As for Pittman's summer schedule, Johnson said: "I know he is going to the Ohio State camp. I don't think he is going to camp a whole lot, I think he is just going to make his tour around and see places just to kind of get some information on schools, campuses, coaches, that type of thing."

Pittman indicated that Ohio State was the team to beat, in the past. However, on May 25, he told TideSports.com of Rivals.com: "Ohio State was the main school that everybody wanted me to go to and saw me playing there, and I saw myself playing there. But as I grew up and matured, I've seen that maybe Ohio State is not the best move for me.

"That's the main thing I'm trying to do right now, is make the right move and see where I can really be part of the team and play where I can be comfortable at."

Said Johnson: "He is going to get around this summer, I know that.

"He is going to make an informed decision. He is going to be a mid-year graduate, so he wants to have his ducks in a row."

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