The 6-foot-6, 285-pound behemoth started on both sides of the ball for coach Keith Wood and the three-time defending Three Rivers Conference champion Golden Tornadoes, splitting time at defensive end and right guard. Pittman became the third offensive lineman to pledge early to Campbell, joining Tuscola’s Ryan Bristle and Connor Jarvis from West Forsyth.
“Zach has a high ceiling and I think he’ll do excellent at the next level,” Wood said Saturday. “I think Campbell got a steal.”
A number of Division I schools have followed Pittman closely since his junior season. The strongest interest came from North Carolina. Wood says the Tar Heels never offered and backed off after Butch Davis was fired and offensive line coach Sam Pittman departed to Tennessee.
“They were looking at him hard,” Wood said.
In Buies Creek, Pittman could join South Robeson’s Aljaquan Nixon, a sophomore for the Camels, along the defensive front seven if Campbell’s coaching staff thinks his skills are better utilized on defense.
“Zach’s probably a year or two away from making an impact, but those guys will get him ready,” Wood said. “Once he gets in the weight room and works with a sled and college-level equipment, Campbell’s staff will have him ready to go.”
Pittman was an all-county and all-conference selection this season, anchoring an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the county. Fairmont had Robeson County’s top-scoring offense at 38.6 PPG and averaged 394.3 yards per contest.
This year’s signing class will be head coach Dale Steele’s sixth at Campbell since the football program was reinstated after a 56-year absence in 2006. After winning just six games from 2008-10, the Camels went 6-5 last season and showed improvement on both sides of the ball.
Two of Pittman’s Fairmont teammates, Alex Gilchrist and Demetrius Washington, are also being recruited by several in-state colleges. Gilchrist, The Robesonian’s Player of the Year, could play tailback or safety at the next level. Washington’s skills at quarterback may be used under center or on the outside as a wide receiver.
With no current offers on the table for either player, Wood isn’t sure what to expect on National Signing Day.
“Charlotte is looking hard at Alex and they really like him,” he said. “Zach’s going to sign here at the school (Feb. 1) and a couple other guys may sign after the deadline. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Reach Staff writer Brad Crawford at 910-272-6119 or at email@example.com