- Number: 32
- Position:Tight End
- Height: 6-5
- Weight: 247
- Roster Years: 2004 | 2007-2009
- Hometown: Moorpark, CA
- Last School: Moorpark High School
Dennis Pitta (born June 29, 1985) is an American football tight end for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at Brigham Young.
Pitta 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, and his large size made him difficult to cover. 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. 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, but no Division I school offered him a scholarship.
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. He sat out the 2003 season on "grayshirt" status. In 2004, he saw significant playing time as a result of an injury to starter Daniel Coats. Pitta recorded 17 receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns, and actually finished the season with more receptions than Coats. Both of his scores came in the game against Air Force, where he also blocked a punt upon which BYU capitalized for a score.
Pitta is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Pitta participated in a Mormon mission in the Dominican Republic, which caused a two-year hiatus in his college football career. He returned to BYU for the 2007 season, and recorded 59 receptions for 813 yards and five touchdowns. 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
In 2008, he recorded 83 receptions for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns. 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. 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.
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. Phil Steele's assessed him as the fourth-ranked draft-eligible tight end and placed him on its preseason All-America fourth team.
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.
Pitta was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round (114th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft The pick was one of three that the Ravens acquired in a trade with the Denver Broncos on the first night of the draft on April 22. The Broncos received a first-round pick which was used to select Tim Tebow. Pitta was signed to a three-year contract on June 21, 2010.