Mycah Pittman was once the face of Oregon's changing recruiting front. Now he's gone.
The WR's signing was the first in a wave that transformed Oregon's depth at the position. That same depth may have ultimately led to his departure.
(Eric Evans photo/GoDucks.com)
College football’s early signing day in Dec. 2018 was rightly treated as a big deal at The Athletic. Recruiting coverage sells, and the newness of the early signing period two months before the traditional day in February was worth planning big coverage around.
The company was willing to shell out some cash to tell the stories about it, which meant it was an especially good time to be on the Oregon beat. Mario Cristobal’s first season had its moments of success on the field — the Ducks would go 8-4 with a win in the Redbox Bowl that year — but the real story was his obsession with talent acquisition. Simply, that 2019 recruiting class was the first glimpse that Cristobal was doing something conference-altering in Eugene.
So before that signing day, I was sent down to Los Angeles to tell the stories about an Oregon class that would finish a program-best seventh in the country. The class headliner was Kayvon Thibodeaux, the No. 2 player in the country, but I drove out to Calabasas to do a story on Mycah Pittman, the top skill position player in Oregon’s class.
His signing carried weight. He was a skilled receiver and among the top 100 players in his class. Michael, his older brother, starred for USC. What should have been a layup for the Trojans with a player from their own backyard turned into a Mario Cristobal block off the backboard.
When I met with Pittman at Calabasas High, a place where my rented Jetta drew pitying glances from onlookers, I found a player who represented exactly what Oregon was trying to be at the time. He talked about how much he despised the state of California and craved a place that was “real.”
“I’m going to throw a slight diss,” Pittman told me. “You see all these good players from Southern California committing to SC. I mean, what have they done with them? You kind of just see the reputation of nothing is happening with them. You haven’t seen UCLA be successful. You haven’t seen USC be successful.
“But you see potential in Oregon.”
That Pittman saw that potential in Oregon was notable. He became the top-ranked receiver to commit to Oregon since Bralon Addison in 2012 and his signing sparked a wave that saw four-star California receivers Kris Hutson (No. 229 overall in 2020), Devon Williams (USC transfer in 2020) and Troy Franklin (No. 41 in 2021) commit in the following years.
Oregon didn't always get guys like this. Don’t think that Pittman’s decision didn’t play a part.
And now, of course, it’s over.