Thursday, November 8, 2007

Senior Day: WR Billy Pittman

In honor of Senior Day, this Saturday, Drinking the Forty will be profiling each Texas senior, looking back at their career in the Burnt Orange.

Billy Pittman came to Texas in 2003 out of Yoe High School in Cameron, Texas. A high school quarterback, Pittman made the switch to wide receiver upon his arrival at the 40 acres. A 4-star recruit, Pittman, 6'1", boasted 4.4 speed. After redshirting in 2003, Pittman missed much of his freshman year with a shoulder injury.

In 2005, Pittman broke into the starting lineup and appeared in 13 games, starting 9. He had 34 receptions, for a team high 750 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He immediately emerged as a deep passing threat with his big game speed. He was second in the nation with a 22.5 yards per catch average, and had 4 receptions for over 60 yards. He also had 4 receptions for 53 yards in the National Championship game against USC. Only a sophomore, big things were expected from Pittman. His junior year, however, did not see a huge improvement for Pittman, playing in the deep Longhorn receiving stable. He recorded 35 receptions for 456 yards and 4 touchdowns. While it was a solid season, it was not quite what you would have hoped for after his sophomore campaign.

If 2006 was a slight disappointment for Pittman, then 2007 has been a disaster. Suspended 4 games before the season for illegal possession of a vehicle during the summer, Pittman has never recovered. Playing as the Longhorns fourth wide receiver in an offense that is mostly using 3 wide, Pittman has recorded 10 catches for 72 yards in 7 games. This season has definitely been hard for Longhorn fans that thought Pittman could step in and be the deep threat we lost with Limas Sweed's injury. In addition, this season definitely hinders Pittman's chances of playing at the next level.

Pittman excited Texas fans during his sophomore and junior season, and disappointed us his senior year. We all had high hopes for a receiving corps featuring Pittman and Sweed. He never really seemed to achieve all that he was capable of during his stay on the 40 Acres, at times looking unstoppable, ultimately derailed by poor decisions off the field. Though, he is still a high character player, as his trouble was for borrowing a friend's car for the summer, as oppose to other Longhorn problems this year. A liberal arts major and 2 time Atheltics' Director Honor Roll, Pittman will leave the 40 Acres this year, leaving fans wondering what could have been.

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