After it being announced that he’d miss the entirety of Florida State football’s spring camp, Mycah Pittman revealed in a vlog on his YouTube channel earlier this month that he will potentially miss some of the 2023 season due to a hip injury that he recently went into surgery for.
Having transferred in from Oregon last season in search of a larger role, Pittman was a stellar slot receiver for the Seminoles in 2022, establishing himself as a consistent contributor through the air, becoming a huge part of the run game through dominant blocking and lending a steady hand on special teams as a return man.
Pittman played 230+ snaps last season as a slot receiver, with no other FSU player eclipsing more than 90 snaps in the slot receiver role. His physical approach to the game made him a go-to talent in n plays around the line of scrimmage, with 10 of his 29 receptions coming from behind the line of scrimmage.
In his potentially prolonged absence, there are a variety of roles that the Seminoles will need to see others step up and fill.
Here’s a look at some of the names head coach Mike Norvell and offensive coordinator Alex Atkins (as well as special teams coordinator John Papuchis) will likely be looking at to do so.
Wide receiver Winston Wright
Wright is healthy after missing all of last season and was expected to take a big step prior to the injury to Pittman but now that will even be more of a focus as he is primarily a slot receiver.
The last time we saw Wright on the field was in 2021 at West Virginia, where he finished the year with 63 catches, 688 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He had two 100-yard games, lining up in the slot on 94.3% of his passing-down snaps.
Wright was great in the return game at West Virginia, serving as the main kick returner with 25 returns, including a 98-yard return against Maryland and a 90-yard return for a touchdown against Long Island.
Ok ok, we see you Winston Wright with the kick return TD for WVU!! #CFB pic.twitter.com/Jk8EVpixbf— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 11, 2021
Did I mention that WVU's Winston Wright has SPECIAL return abilities too?! @showtimejet can do it all pic.twitter.com/obDGBjOazQ— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 4, 2021
Athlete Ja’Khi Douglas
Douglas only was able to play sparingly in 2022 after dealing with a shoulder injury at the beginning of the season. When he came back, he was able to make a positive impact on the team but never got the chance to fully come into his own.
Even with the limited game time, he was second behind Pittman in registering passing down snaps in the slot.
Now with a full offseason to get healthy, he could be another player that Norvell and his staff lean on in Pittman’s absence. In 2021, he played 87.8% of his passing-down snaps in the slot. On passes beyond 20+ yards, he finished with 4 catches for 164 yards, showcasing an ability that can help him be a deep-threat weapon to lean on.
In his time in Tallahassee, he’s been used very creatively as a playmaker, transitioning from running back to receiver in order to best utilize his talents. With that background, he will be leaned on as a YAC weapon. He is a little undersized, but his explosiveness will keep him on the field.
Wide receiver Deuce Spann
Spann, who showcased his potential in his first year in Tallahassee in 2022, is still learning to master the nuances of the position after starting off his career as a dual-threat quarterback at Illinois. Throughout last season, Florida State looked for different ways to get Spann involved in the offense and now out of situational need, they could experiment with Spann more in the slot given that the receiver room has a lot of outside receivers, making it hard to find consistent snaps for him outside.
With Pittman down for the time being, Spann could get more opportunities as many of the other receivers on the roster don’t have a ton of slot experience and are more polished as outside receivers.