The Akron Zips defense – especially the front seven – is expected to be the strength of the team at the beginning of the football season.
The team finds itself in an enviable situation. Although they returned two speed defensive ends, they added more speed in the person of Se’Von Pittman. Local folks might remember his as the guy who used to terrorize quarterbacks at Canton McKinley a few years back.
Pittman will start at defensive tackle alongside junior Cody Grice, filling the departed Nico Caponi’s shoes. There should be no beats skipped.
Pittman brings power and speed to the position essentially giving the Zips three defensive ends on the field simultaneously. But Bowden said getting him on the field was a process after he sat out a year because of transfer rules.
“You’ve been at Ohio State and come to Akron and you go through the motions. He was like "just get me through this year,” he said.
After Pittman began to sniff that a return to the field was near, he switched, Bowden said.
“He has really kicked up the intensity level. He gives you speed inside. He can play inside or move out,” he said. “We’re putting our best four people out there. In the game he's playing tackle. We're getting our best three rushers who might play outside.”
That, ultimately, could give the team the best defensive front seven in the Mid-American Conference.
“We’re really excited about that front seven on defense,” he said. “He's one of the guys who has a chance to make it the best part of our team.”