Bill Greene of Scout.com is reporting that former Canton McKinley standout Se’Von Pittman, who Ohio State released from his scholarship this year, will transfer to the University of Akron.
A source with knowledge of the situation said that Pittman was close to being a member of the Zips football team, a potential coup for UA coach Terry Bowden. The source was not permitted to speak on the record until the transfer is official. Attempts to reach Pittman by phone were unsuccessful.
Pittman, a defensive end, dominated play at McKinley and had offers from numerous BCS schools.
He initially committed to Michigan State but turned his eyes toward Columbus when Urban Meyer assumed the reins of the Buckeyes program.
Off-field issues contributed to his leaving the Buckeyes. That shouldn’t completely derail his collegiate career, said his former high school coach Ron Johnson, who is now the coach at Salem High School.
“Him going to a school is really irrelevant,” Johnson said Thursday afternoon when reached by phone. “He has the talent to be successful anywhere he goes. He has to make sure he has his priorities straight personally, socially, academically and then on the football field, that will take care of itself.”
Johnson refused to talk specifics regarding what happened at Ohio State, but it doesn’t appear to be an obstacle that can’t be overcome.
“It was just a very common thing that happens to a lot of young men when they get away from home for the first time and don’t really keep the main thing, the main thing,” Johnson said.
According to Scout.com, Pittman will begin classes in July and sit out the upcoming season. But Johnson thinks he will be successful in the MAC despite the time off.
“There are great football players there, don’t get me wrong, but what happens is most of them mature late,” said Johnson, who spent 10 years coaching in the MAC. “The difference is Pitt is showing up on campus like that.
“He’s showing up matured and ready to go. I’m sure that he can excel at any program he chooses or chose to go to. He would have been a great player at Ohio State.
“He would have been a great player at Alabama. He would have been a great player at Malone. If he does the right things, he’s going to be a great player.”
George M. Thomas can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Zips blog at http://www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.