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How Kyle Pitts Went From High School QB to NFL Tight End
AP Photo/John Raoux, File

Former University of Florida tight end Kyle Pitts is one of the best talents in the entire 2021 NFL Draft class after starring in The Swamp.

The 6-foot-6 pass catcher is an NFL mock draft darling, and is largely expected to be an early first-round pick on Draft Day.

While Pitts is a sought-after commodity at his position, things could have been vastly different for the Florida Gators star had he listened to some terrible advice from a former high school coach.

Kyle Pitts in High School

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Kyle Pitts grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and started his high school football career at Abington Senior High School. His coach forced Pitts to play quarterback, even though he never enjoyed the position and felt he would fare better in a non-quarterback role, such as wide receiver or tight end.

Heading into his junior year, Pitts transferred to Archbishop Wood and learned the ins and outs of the tight end position. The move paid dividends for the prep star and ultimately put him on the map as a big-time college football recruit.

Playing tight end enabled Pitts to make better use of his freak athleticism and showcase his work in the trenches as a talented blocker. Additionally, his combination of elite size and speed made him a tremendously hard matchup for any cornerback or linebacker.

TE Kyle Pitts at Florida

After only featuring in three games as a freshman under head coach Dan Mullen, Kyle Pitts gained national attention during his sophomore season after hauling in 54 receptions and five touchdowns.

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Despite only playing in eight games during his junior year in 2020, Pitts scored 12 touchdowns and racked up 770 yards, proving to be a mismatch for virtually every defender on the field.

Pitts scored four touchdowns in the season-opener against Ole Miss, and three against Kentucky later in the year. He also had big games against Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina by catching passes from fellow NFL Draft prospect Kyle Trask.

With the 2021 NFL Draft in sight, Pitts dominated at his Pro Day. He ran an impressive 4.44 40-yard dash and helped cement his case as an early first-round pick.

Pitts is expected to be the first tight end off the board, and could wind up landing on a team which owns one of the top-overall picks in the draft, including the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers or Dallas Cowboys.

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NFL Network’s Peter Schrager even suggests  Pitts could be the first non-quarterback drafted in 2021 over the likes of Oregon OL Penei Sewell and LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase.

MORE: Justin Fields Clocks Blazing 40-Yard Dash at Pro Day

Karl Rasmussen is a sports writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon and is an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Yankees and New York Jets.
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