WR Michael Pittman expects to return to USC football in 2019

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Junior wide receiver Michael Pittman expects to come back for his senior season with USC football, though his NFL evaluation may still change his mind.

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Going into the 2018 season, it was assumed that junior wide receiver Michael Pittman would be a prime candidate to leave USC football early for the NFL. A strong end to his campaign only reinforced that believe.

However, the junior had a message for Trojan fans on Tuesday: Not so fast.

“I appreciate that everyone thinks that I’m playing that well but I still have a lot left here,” Pittman said.

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He hasn’t totally made up his mind. After the season he will submit his name for an evaluation from the NFL. If pro scouts give him positive enough feedback, he will consider leaving more closely. For now though, the plan is to return.

“If I had to make a decision right now, it’d be easy,” said Pittman.

Though Pittman is USC’s leading wide receiver, and the most reliable playmaker on the team in recent weeks, there is reason to argue he would be best served by coming back.

His 34 catches for 667 yards and six touchdowns is a career high, but it is not the level of production which will give NFL scouts watering mouths.

Pittman sees the opportunity to raise his stock in that regard next season.

There are other personal reasons he might stick around as well. Pittman wants to be a captain. He also wants to put his name on the All-American Walk.


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“I just want to solidify myself in this school so people can remember my name and when they think of USC they think of Michael Pittman, Marqise Lee, Robert Woods, JuJu and those guys.”

If Pittman does indeed follow through and return for the 2019 season, it would be a major boost for the Trojans. Though there is solid depth at the position, having another proven playmaker on the field would take pressure off of the likes of Amon-Ra St. Brown, who will be back for his sophomore campaign.

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Pittman is eligible to leave for the NFL after the season, but so is redshirt sophomore Tyler Vaughns. With 46 catches for 554 yards and five touchdowns, he could also be in line to return.