Life is good for Adam Pittser.
The Richmond-Burton senior quarterback is in high demand by NCAA Division I schools for his ability to throw a football. He hobnobbed with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s father, Jack, during the Bears-Packers game Sept. 27 at Soldier Field. And the Rockets are rolling along at 6-0, ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press Class 4A poll and unchallenged so far this season.
“We’re guaranteed a playoff spot after Friday,” Pittser said. “The [Big Northern Conference East Division] is looking good. Hopefully we can get some things done.”
Pittser is 25-7 as a high school quarterback, by far the most impressive numbers on his résumé. He caught the attention of big-time D-I coaches last summer at camps, particularly the ESPN RISE Elite 11 quarterback camp in July. There, Pittser, easily the most unheralded player, was voted the No. 2 MVP.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder is writing a weekly blog with reporter Brandon Parker for ESPN RISE about his recruitment. Pittser has narrowed his list to Ball State, Washington, Western Michigan and Wisconsin, and he believes he has established a strong relationship with the coaches at those programs. TCU, a top-10 program, contacted Pittser last month, and while he was flattered, he believed it was too late in the process and crossed TCU off his list.
“It does get hectic since I haven’t committed,” Pittser said of the recruiting. “It’s kind of overwhelming. I talked to coaches Thursday night for an hour and a half.”
Pittser was set to visit Washington this weekend, but decided to wait and go to Pullman after the Rockets’ season is finished, which, the way they are playing, could mean late November or early December. He recently made an unofficial visit to Wisconsin.
“Adam handles it all really, really well,” R-B coach Pat Elder said. “He’s only worried about playing and winning games for Richmond-Burton. He’s the first kid I’ve had to get this kind of attention. I’ve talked to a lot of coaches about film requests. You deal with those every year with coaches from smaller schools.”
Pittser doesn’t put up big numbers in R-B’s run-oriented Wing-T offense, but he has been efficient. He’s completed 21 of 44 passes for 318 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
“We’ve done so well I don’t need to throw, and I’m OK with that,” Pittser said. “It’s kind of like it was last year. In this last part of the season I’ll do what I can to keep us winning. I’m not complaining.”
R-B produced three 1,000-yard rushers last season, and, although the Rockets graduated 16 starters, they might have three more 1,000-yard runners this year. R-B has outscored its opponents, 213-29, so Elder has pulled back on opportunities after R-B has built big leads.
Pittser, a third-year starter who played quarterback for two Class 4A playoff semifinal teams, knows the day might come when he is required to make some tough throws. If and when it does, he should be ready.
“Hopefully, if we need me to do that, I’ll do my best,” Pittser said.
Pittser has worked out with former NFL quarterback Jeff Christiansen for three years, and frequently has thrown with Jake Christiansen, Jeff’s son, who played at Iowa and Eastern Illinois. Pittser also has thrown with former Northwestern and Bears quarterback Brett Basanez.
Pittser, in his Packers attire Sept. 27, went to Soldier Field to watch the NFL’s oldest rivals meet during a “Monday Night Football” game. Some fans from the Richmond area were tailgating before the game and were joined by Jack Cutler.
“My girlfriend, Lindsey Rietschel, got me the tickets for my birthday,” Pittser said. “Some fans from Richmond had gone to the Dallas game [the week before] and were in a bar the night before the game. Some Dallas fans were ripping on Jay, and the Richmond people stood up for him. Jack was there and came up to them and thanked them for backing Jay. They asked him to tailgate in Chicago, so he did.”
Jack Cutler offered Pittser some advice on how to handle business and recruiting, even though he was wearing Packers’ colors.
Elder offers guidance in whatever way he can, too.
“If [Pittser] has questions, and I can answer or give him my opinions, I do,” Elder said. “It’s a decision he and his family have to make. I’ll ask questions and we’ll talk back and forth. Adam’s a great kid, and he’s worked hard. [The recruitment] has been great.”