This past Wednesday was a big and emotional day in the life of high school football seniors across the country as they signed their Letter of Intents with their choices for college.
While waiting for members of their recruiting class to officially make their decisions, the Pitt coaches were also busy recruiting ahead for next year and in doing so, a phone they had with a junior defensive back left him very emotional.
Tommy Amankwaa, a junior cornerback from Hillsborough High School in Hillsborough, New Jersey, has been waiting for that first Power Five offer and that wait ended after a phone call with Pitt’s Tim Salem.
“He called me early in the morning and I really wasn’t expecting it,” Amankwaa told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Before that, he was texting me about the campus and things about the program, then he told me to call him so I did. He then went over how he was going over my film with the other coaches and how they really liked it. He said how he was a really big fan of my game, how I play the game, my elusiveness and the way I move with my body.”
“Coach Salem then said how he saw a lot of potential in me and I was really happy to hear that. After that, he said the coaches at Pitt want to extend me a scholarship offer. After hearing that, my first reaction was to cry because that was really big and I didn’t think receiving an offer like that would be happening right now.”
Prior to the news from Pitt, Amankwaa had received offers from Akron and UMass. Was their something in particular that he believes he improved on this season that caught Pitt and other programs eye?
“I really think I improved a lot this season from last year and put a lot of work into my game,” said Amankwaa. “I also put on a lot of good weight. Last year, I was 160-165 pounds and now I’m put to 180-185 pounds and I believe that really helped me as a player. This offseason, I really plan on working on improving my speed and my defensive back skills. I want to leave it all out there for my senior season.
“This was a highly nervous time for me, and despite my improvement, I wasn’t sure that a Power Five school would be offering me now. When that text from Pitt came, I wasn’t really reading much into it and wasn’t expecting an offer to come but I’m glad it did.”
Prior to this week, Amankwaa didn’t know a ton about the Pitt program but since that phone call, he’s been busy studying and learning as much as he can.
“I’ve been doing some research and have actually watched some of their past games on TV. Pitt is a great school, they plan in the ACC and they have a great quarterback (Kenny Pickett). I’ve started to look things up on them on various websites, on Instagram and Twitter and got excited about them.”
Check out my Junior Year Highlight Film❗️✌️ https://t.co/p6wVDO7oel
— Thomas Amankwaa ✞ (@tommy_amankwaa) November 22, 2020
At Hillsborough High School, Amankwaa plays both wide receiver and cornerback but says that he believes his future in college will be in the defensive backfield. However, he’s quick to add that he’d be willing to play on whatever side of the ball that a team believes would maximize his skillset.
“This being my first Power Five offer will definitely be special to me,” said Amankwaa. “This is a big deal for me and my family that this was the first Power Five school to offer me a chance to play. At the end of the day, I’m going to look at all the choices that I have and then decide which is the best fit for myself.”