Meet tight end Dennis Pitta

April 24, 2010 | WNST Staff

With the 114th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Ravens selected tight end Dennis Pitta of BYU. Here are some facts and figures about Pitta:

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Here’s Pitta’s wiki:

Dennis Pitta is an American college football tight end. He recently finished his last season for the BYU Cougars at Brigham Young University, where he was an All-American and 2009 Elite Trophy Recipient of the College Football Performance Awards.

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[edit] Early life

He was born in Fresno, California to parents Dennis and Linda Pitta. His father played college football as a middle linebacker for California from 1968 to 1969. Dennis Pitta attended Moorpark High School where he earned letters in football, basketball, and track. He played football as a wide receiver and cornerback,[2] and his large size made him difficult to cover.[3] As a senior in 2002, Pitta recorded 64 receptions for 1,150 yards and 13 touchdowns. That season, he was named a first-team all-county, all-league, and all-area player.[2] He was a scholar-athlete all four years in high school and was also named a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete. Pitta was shown interest by Dartmouth, Navy, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Utah, and Yale,[2] but no Division I school offered him a scholarship.[4]

[edit] College career

Pitta chose to attend Brigham Young University, where he walked onto the football team as a wide receiver. Pitta was moved to tight end by head coach Gary Crowton, where he soon earned a scholarship.[4] He sat out the 2003 season on “grayshirt” status.[2] In 2004, he saw significant playing time as a result of an injury to starter Daniel Coats.[5] Pitta recorded 17 receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns,[2] and actually finished the season with more receptions than Coats.[5] Both of his scores came in the game against Air Force,[2] where he also blocked a punt upon which BYU capitalized for a score.[4]

Pitta then participated in a Mormon mission in the Dominican Republic,[2] which caused a two-year hiatus in his college football career.[5][6] He returned to BYU for the 2007 season, and recorded 59 receptions for 813 yards and five touchdowns.[7] He finished the season as the nation’s fifth-leading tight end in yards per game at 63. Pitta was named to the All-Mountain West Conference (MWC) first team, and he also received Academic All-MWC honors.[2]

In 2008, he recorded 83 receptions for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns.[7] Against Northern Iowa, he compiled 213 yards, which broke the conference receiving yards record for a tight end and earned him the John Mackey Tight End of the Week honors. Against Colorado State, he caught the game-winning 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Max Hall, and was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week and a MWC Co-Offensive Player of the Week. Pitta finished the season as the team’s second-leading receiver. He was a Lombardi Award and Biletnikoff Award candidate, and a Mackey Award semifinalist.[8] Pitta was named to the All-MWC first team, and again received Academic All-MWC honors. College Football News and Sports Illustrated named him an honorable mention All-American, and Rivals.com named him to its All-America third team.[2]

Prior to the 2009 season, The NFL Draft Scout, a CBS Sports affiliate, rated Pitta as the sixth-ranked out of 92 tight ends available for the 2010 NFL Draft. They project him as being selected in the third or fourth round.[9] Phil Steele’s assessed him as the fourth-ranked draft-eligible tight end and placed him on its preseason All-America fourth team.[10]

He was one of three finalists for the Mackey Award. He was named to the 2009 All-MWC first team and the 2009 AFCA Coaches’ All-America team. He received weekly honors from the College Football Performance Awards on multiple occasions.[11][12] He was named 2009 Elite Tight End Trophy Recipient by the College Football Performance Awards, and the first non-BCS trophy recipient since 2001.[13] He received the award at the Marriott Center on the BYU campus on December 8, 2009 at halftime of the BYU-Arizona State men’s basketball game.[14]

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