Quarantine Q&A with Shea Pitts
In the fifth installment of Quarantine Q&A, catch up with Shea Pitts of the UCLA football team. Entering his redshirt junior season, Pitts saw action in all 12 of the Bruins' games in 2019. He is the son of Ron Pitts, who played football at UCLA from 1981-84, and grandson of the late Elijah Pitts, who scored two touchdowns for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I.
Q: When did you know you wanted to come to UCLA?
A: I knew I wanted to come to UCLA from the day I was born. I saw UCLA stuff around the house and was going to UCLA football games ever since I was months old. It has always been a dream of mine to play football at UCLA and earn my degree from here.
Q: Do you have any tricks or routines you do before a game?
A: Before games I like to listen to the same songs in the same order once I get to the stadium. This will consist of artists like Kanye West, Meek Mill, Drake, Kodak Black and, actually, "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins.
Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of football?
A: I like to hike, play golf and ride motorcycles in my spare time.
Q: Which of your coaches do you think could best compete in your sport today and why?
A: Coach (DeShaun) Foster, without a doubt. He would run through most college defenses easily.
Q: Can you discuss what it means for you to be part of such a long football legacy within your family?
A: It's a great thing that I keep in my mind at all times. It obviously adds some pressure, but helps me strive toward being great and not wanting to let anyone in my family down. Although, I do appreciate how there was never added pressure from my dad or anyone in my family with regard to football. They just want me to be happy playing the game and I respect that a lot.
Q: Can you discuss what it's like to wear the No. 47 jersey, the same your father, Ron, did when he played football at UCLA?
A: I think it's really cool and inspirational. I see his number around the locker room and he's even pictured in the defensive back meeting room. His presence and history at UCLA is something that encourages me to be great, always serving as a constant reminder of why I'm here. From this, I have developed an inclination to have the number remembered the same way he did.
Q: Do you want to pursue football beyond your UCLA career?
A: I want to do everything I can to give myself a chance to play in the NFL, XFL, or any professional organization. However, I will not rely on it as my only means of success.
Q: Can you please share your interests in potential careers outside football and what spurred you in those directions?
A: I want to go into either sports broadcasting, real estate or law. I like sports broadcasting because my dad was a sports broadcaster for the NFL for 19 years with FOX Sports. I have another strong interest toward real estate through an internship in Calabasas I have been working recently. I am also incredibly invested in social justice and feel that law can be a very rewarding career path for me.
Q: With your older brother, Lee, being a former college football player at Azusa Pacific and the University of Arizona, who do you believe is the better athlete between the two of you?
A: Lee is definitely faster and can cover a little bit better, but I can, without a doubt, hit harder and tackle much better [laughs].
Q: What are you studying at UCLA and why?
A: Political science with a minor in entrepreneurship. I like political science and it serves as a good potential launching point in becoming a lawyer and going to law school. I like entrepreneurship because I have a few ideas for things and different services that I would like to create or facilitate.
Q: Can you share how you have been able to cope with the adjustment in lifestyle due to the current events of COVID-19?
A: Creating a daily schedule has been important in this whole process. Having a list of things that I want to do and get accomplished has allowed for me to thrive by my own standards while my environment has been altered around me. I've run several hills and found that almost anything can be used as a workout tool. Whatever I could get my hands on, whether it was gallon water bottles for bicep curls or making my own pull-up bar with a metal pipe, has been made into workout gear and has made me even more creative while dealing with COVID-19.
Q: What is your best UCLA memory so far?
A: Either beating Texas A&M or Washington State in the two epic comebacks.
Q: What has your move back to campus and voluntary workouts been like?
A: It's been great seeing my teammates and getting to be around people I haven't seen in a long time. I just have to keep my distance and can only communicate from afar, but the workouts have gone really well so far.
Q: How do you feel about the adjusted 10-game Pac-12 season?
A: It is what it is. I would have liked to take a trip out to Hawaii [laughs], but we are more concerned about what we do as a team than who is on our schedule. Things may be different with regard to our schedule, but the mission is still the same.
Q: While you have the platform to make a formal comment on the current social environment involving the Black Lives Matter movement, is there anything you would like to share?
A: I just want people to see and understand the issues that are happening within the Black community. People have to learn that all voices needing to be heard is a necessity. Even though not everyone will be able to relate to what is going on, everyone should take the time to enlighten themselves and see the issues that have been going on for years. This isn't something new and it's important that everyone is educated and changes the narrative for the future by the way we educate ourselves and look toward progressive change in the future.