COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — For former running back Antonio Pittman, it's not the gridiron fueling his game anymore. He's traded in that sport for a spot with the Columbus Division of Fire.
"It's a really, really, great job. I mean that from the bottom of my heart," Pittman said.
ABC6/FOX 28 first spoke with Pittman about being a Columbus firefighter back in 2020, when he first started.
Since then, he says he's achieved some of the goals he set out to do.
"I've accomplished a lot, " Pittman said.
Pittman's all about giving back and helping kids get on the right path.
My past wasn't the best growing up as a kid. I was into a lot of stuff, just like a lot of these other kids.
He says opportunities can change someone's life. So he and his girlfriend started a charity to help students.
"We created Navigating Alternative Success which is named after one of her students who was tragically killed in 2019. With that we've created after school programs, tutoring, we provide resources, help them write letters for their college applications," Pittman said.
Pittman also wants to provide opportunities to student-athletes and help those who may not know what to do once they've finished their sport.
He's joined forces with former Buckeye walk-on running back Jordan Leasure, who is also a firefighter.
Pittman says the two have talked to OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith about starting an internship program.
This way they don't go through that transition that I went through, like I did when football was done and you're trying to find out what's next. I never looked at this as a possibility because I never knew a firefighter.
So, he's introducing more and more people to a job he loves.
"I like to say different hustle, same grind. I'm not hustling on the football field, but the grind is still the same. And it's to provide for my family and provide others," Pittman said.
If you'd like to learn more about the charity Navigating Alternative Success, Pittman says you can reach them on Instagram, nas.ohio.