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The Oregon Ducks are now a week into fall camp and one of the players grabbing attention early — literally — is true freshman wide out Mycah Pittman, who is likely to see plenty of playing time in his debut season.
The Oregonian/OregonLive caught up with Pittman at Ducks media day to discuss his first fall camp, his relationship with his father (former NFL running back Michael Pittman) and brother (USC senior WR Michael Pittman Jr.), expectations, playing with Justin Herbert, fellow freshman Josh Delgado and more:
You arrived on campus early. How’s it been going for you from spring through summer and now entering fall camp?
“It’s been a great opportunity, honestly. It’s a blessing just to play D-1 football at the University of Oregon, a big-time program, and just being able to grasp that and come into reality. I’m living out my dreams basically. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
I think fans got excited about your performance in the spring game and during spring practices. Now that you have the jersey on and it’s fall camp, does it feel really real now?
“It feels really real. Honestly, I hold myself to high standards (and) really, I hold myself to high standards and even coming out of that spring game, I didn’t think I had the greatest game. I guess people liked it but I hold myself to really high standards so after that game I was a little upset but at the end of the day it is what it is and I had great opportunities to make plays, that’s what I did and I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”
You come from a family where standards are pretty high — your father was a professional athlete, your brother is down at USC — when you set standards like that for yourself, is it hard to live up to those standards? How do you approach those standards?
“It’s obviously a difficult task, I would say. I wouldn’t say it’s hard, it’s a difficult task but it’s nothing I can’t overcome. My brother, he’s always had high expectations for himself, it kind of rubbed off on me. My dad, he always told me if you don’t have three touchdowns a day then I don’t know if you’re my son. I’m like, ‘All right, dad …’ It’s just that type of relationship he has with me, you know. Having them rub off on me, just trying to be great; be the best you can be, do everything right and use the talent I got.”
What have you pulled from your brother in coming to the D-1 level, playing at the University of Oregon and playing the same position? How did you lean on him for advice?
“I leaned on him pretty heavily. He’s my brother, so I FaceTime him almost every day. We have that relationship where we’re close. He has given me tips and stuff like that but mostly he just tells me like ‘These DBs are weak’ and he just has the confidence. Tips? He just tells me what schools has some DBs that are talented and just to look out for them. He knows some weaknesses and he’ll give me advice and what to do at the top of the routes and just basic things you need for a receiver.”
When you came in early and you go from competing against high school DBs to D-1 athletes, was there a moment that kind of opened your eyes?
“Not really. I didn’t feel like the game got faster to me; it feels the same speed. I got my body trained for it, I guess you could say. I worked my but off before I came up here. Probably the biggest adjustment was the playbook because obviously high school plays aren’t as complicated as college plays and Coach (Marcus) Arroyo, he has great plays. He likes to mix it up and trick people, so that comes with a lot of learning. I honestly can say now I know the playbook very well and I know what I’m doing every time I’m out there. I’m not thinking, I’m more just doing.”
So what area has been your biggest growth from spring ball to the start of fall camp?
“My biggest growth has been mental, mainly just focusing on the plays — that’s what I really focused on during the offseason. I did training here and there, but at the end of the day you can be the most physical, strong, fastest guy but if you don’t have it up there mentally than it’s a waste of time. I find myself at 2 p.m. watching film and then I get done watching film at like 7:30 and I’ll be like, ‘Whoa, where did this time go?’ I just get really into it — and I just don’t watch myself, I watch guys like O’Dell (Beckham) and Adam Thielen, guys who are doing it at a high level — Jarvis Landry, guys in the past like Steve Smith — I just really enjoy watching them, just trying to take away some things. I even use their moves on some of my teammates, and it works. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and improving my mental.
Playing with a guy like Justin Herbert, how does he make your job easier?
“He’s a machine. I’ve never seen a quarterback who can put it on the money 99 percent of the time — and that one percent, if he doesn’t make it you can see him clap his hands, get frustrated with himself. He’s a perfectionist and if it’s not perfect, he doesn’t like it. He leads by example. He tells us what routes he likes, the stuff he likes to run and stuff like that. … He’s a character and I think people don’t know this but he’s a goofy guy; he’s really cool and I enjoy being around him. His presence is really good.”
You talked about expectations, have you set expectations for yourself this season?
“The expectation is to play, start. Start is a big word, obviously, as a true freshman but I just have expectations to be great. That’s all I want to be; just reach my full potential. I would love to see 1,000 yards as a true freshman. It’s a big leap but at the end of the day I feel like I can accomplish goals like that and if I don’t have goals like that I’m not trying to be great, I’m not trying to be the best I can be.”
Another guy who should crack the rotation as a true freshman is Josh Delgado. Talk about what you’ve seen from him as a fellow receiver.
“Josh, he’s an athlete. He can go inside, he can go outside. He’s very talented. It’s great to be around him. He has a great work ethic; he likes to work in silence. It’s great to be around him because he pushes me — he doesn’t know it but he pushes me to be better, too, because I see Josh working and it’s time for me to work. You see your guys working, you’re letting them down by not working yourself. He’s definitely a guy who pushes me and motivates me.”
What has an experienced guy like Juwan Johnson taught you guys or how has he helped you guys?
“Juwan’s a beast, man. I appreciate everything he’s doing for me and for the team. He’s a very humble character. He’s a great guy and we text each other all the time, just check up on each other; we have that type of relationship.”
Talent-wise he’s a big target, which we saw in the spring game. What do you see from him on the field as well?
“Juwan’s a guy who can go up and go get it. He’s a guy who can catch the ball over his shoulder. He has a big catch radius. He’s very talented and I’m just glad to have him around. … He motivates me, guys like him and Josh motivate me and just keep helping me push through.”
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Source : https://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/2019/08/ducks-football-qa-with-freshman-wideout-mycah-pittman.html1560