USC football in NFL: Michael Pittman is on path to be next great for WRU

Former USC football receiver Michael Pittman. Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Former USC football receiver Michael Pittman. Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

USC football’s WRU reputation is bolstered by Michael Pittman’s first impressions with the Colts.

Prediction: USC football will retain their status as WRU for years to come.

Why? Because the Trojans have a slew of productive receivers in the NFL and they’re just going to keep adding to that total with playmakers like Michael Pittman.

Case in point, Pittman is already living up to expectations as he participates in his first training camp with the Indianapolis Colts.

Michael Pittman is set up to carry USC football’s WR receiver legacy.

ESPN confirmed USC remained WRU in 2020 with their Position U rankings this week and there’s no reason to think that’ll change going forward.

Pittman was a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and was thrown into the league under unusual circumstances, without the benefit of a normal NFL preseason. Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni praised the rookie for catching up quickly on the mental side of the game.

“I see Michael Pittman knowing exactly where to be on the field,” he said in a one-on-one with

Sirianni and the Colts saw what he could do in college and they’re looking forward to witnessing his development as a pro.

“[He] had just a phenomenal college career at a very great college with a ton of tradition at USC,” Sirianni said. “So we know that he is very capable of being everything that we think he can be. His talent is there. Now he’s just got to go do it.”

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Several things are working in Pittman’s favor as he prepares for his first season in the NFL.

First, his size and physicality is already proving an asset in training camp as he takes advantage of first-team reps.

Early in Wednesday’s practice, Pittman turned heads by making two hard-fought catches on passes from Philliip Rivers.

“The guy has really strong hands,” Sirianni told the Indianapolis Star. “He’s not dropping a lot of balls, and, obviously, he’s strong with the catch in traffic.”

As USC fans are already aware, Pittman is effective at helping the team even when the ball doesn’t come his way. Sirianni said the receiver “can be special” when he’s using his size to block or otherwise take defenders out of the play. The Star pointed out how he did just that on a 47-yard touchdown by Marlon Mack on Monday.

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Not to get ahead of things, but those are the kinds of things that helped JuJu Smith-Schuster launch a successful pro career early. He had the talent to make plays, the mindset to contribute in every facet of the game and the will to bring it all together. Pittman has the same qualities. We’ll see if they bring the same results.

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