You could say the Pettis family has some athletic prowess. Dante's father, Gary, played 11 seasons of major league baseball for four teams, winning five Gold Gloves as a centerfielder. His older cousin, Austin, was Boise State's all-time leading receiver before playing in the NFL for four seasons with the St. Louis Rams. Pettis was an all-conference high school football player at cornerback as a junior and receiver as a senior, while also playing hoops and competing at the California state track meet in the 200 meters and long jump. His athleticism got him on the field with the Huskies as a true freshman in a punt returner (28 att., 288 yards, TD) and part-time starting receiver (five starts in 13 games, 17 receptions, 259 yards, TD) role. Pettis excelled on special teams again as a sophomore, ranking fourth in the nation with 16.9 yards per punt return (16 att., 271 yards, two TD). He started eight of 13 games at receiver, as well (30 receptions, 414 yards, TD). Pettis combined with quarterback Jake Browning to explode on the national scene in 2016, displaying centerfielder-type hands as well as excellent toughness as a receiver, runner, and blocker. He ranked seventh in the FBS with 15 touchdown receptions and garnered second-team All-Pac-12 honors with 53 catches for 822 yards. His increased role on offense did not prevent him from making plays as a punt returner for the third straight season (25 att., 287 yards, two TD, ranked 10th in the FBS with 11.5 yards per return).