Kyle Pitts didn’t sign early with the Gators with the intention of being simply a spectator.
A 6-foot-5 tight end out of Archbishop Wood Catholic (Pa.), Pitts continues to seek new challenges, with his latest set to come Thursday at the Under Armour All-America game.
Because in Pitts’ eyes, that’s how you make a name for yourself – to be the best you have to beat the best, and that’s the mentality he’ll take with him to Gainesville when he arrives on UF’s campus in June.
“Competing with the best, it’s a good experience,” Pitts said. “Just (trying to) make my name bigger and beat some of the top guys.”
And despite the uncertainty surrounding not only Florida’s coaching staff but also the Gators tight end corps, Pitts signed early with the Gators, and his reasoning isn’t surprising: he has an opportunity to see the field early for Florida.
In fact, Pitts said he didn’t waver in his commitment despite the departure of coach Jim McElwain and tight ends coach Greg Nord. And it helped that his primary recruiter, Ja’Juan Seider, was retained by coach Dan Mullen.
“I was still all in,” Pitts confirmed.
With the departure of senior DeAndre Goolsby, Florida will return just two tight ends with significant game experience: redshirt juniors C’yontai Lewis and Moral Stephens. Considering the Gators will likely have a fresh face coaching the tight ends, it’s safe to say the position is set for an open competition.
“I just wanted to be a part of it, and get an early grip on the playbook,” Pitts said after Monday’s Under Armour All-America practice. “Coach Mullen said I could just be a versatile player, playing in-line, slot or sliding on the outside.”
Like fellow UF signees Emory Jones and Trey Dean, Pitts has an ulterior motive while competing this week against some of the nation’s up-and-coming prospects: recruit for the Gators. And he has his sights set on two prospects who would likely bolster the chances for Florida’s offense to be reborn under Mullen.
“Richard Gouraige and Nicholas Petit-Frere,” Pitts said. “We need y’all, and y’all would be a good addition to the class.”