February 16, 2007

One word - Productive

With junior running back Antonio Pittman off to the NFL we thought we'd take a look back at his time as a Buckeye. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound back's career can be summed up in one word, unsung. The Akron Buchtel product spent much of his time in Columbus in the shadows of his Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Troy Smith, and wide receivers Anthony Gonzalez and Ted Ginn Jr.; however, there is actually a more accurate word to describe Pittman's career at OSU, productive.

Coming out of high school he was rated as the No. 13 running back prospect in the country by Rivals.com and the sixth best prospect in the state of Ohio. Of the twelve backs rated higher than him in the class of 2004, Pittman out rushed all but two of them; Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma and Marshawn Lynch of Cal, certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

Though many thought he would be too small to endure the rigors of the physical Big Ten schedule, there was nothing small about Pittman's numbers at Ohio State. In 2006 he was the first OSU back since Eddie George with back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. His 2,945 yards on 557 carries (5.3 yards per carry) is the eighth highest total in school history.

As a freshman Pittman split time with senior Lydell Ross but showed the first glimpses of what was to come when he spelled the injured Ross with a 144-yard performance against Indiana.

In 2005, his first as a starter, he opened the year with a 100-yard day on 14 carries in the Buckeyes' defeat of Miami of Ohio. Three weeks later he would top 100 yards again with a 171-yard day during a 31-6 beat down of the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!