Pitt cornerback Damarri Mathis will leave Pitt to begin his preparations for the 2022 NFL Draft, he announced on Friday.
That means that Mathis will not play in the 2021 Peach Bowl against Michigan State and will also forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility.
Thank you Pittsburgh! 💙💛 pic.twitter.com/SOwwZdLPJZ
— Damarri〽️ (@Damarri15) December 17, 2021
“I would like to thank God, for every moment that got me to this point. I want to thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play for this great program. To everyone at the University of Pittsburgh, I will never forget all the memories and relationships that I built in this city.”
“With that being said, after many prayers and family discussions, I have decided to forgo the upcoming Bowl game so I can begin my focus on training and preparing for the 2022 NFL Draft.”
“It’s time for this to become my reality. Thank you Panther Nation! H2P #BIG21”
Mathis missed the entire 2020 season due to a preseason injury, but returned to start in all 13 games for the Panthers in 2021. He finished second on the team with two interceptions, tied for second with six pass breakups and was seventh with 44 tackles.
In his four playing seasons with the Panthers, Mathis finished with 87 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and 22 passes defended.
A consensus three-star recruit out of Lakeland, Florida in Pitt’s Class of 2017, Mathis made an immediate impact as a freshman in 2017, serving as a key rotational backup. He continued that role in 2018, sharing time with fellow youngster Jason Pinnock. In 2019, Mathis broke through into a starting role alongside future NFL cornerback Dane Jackson.
Without Mathis available in the Peach Bowl, Pitt will turn to a combination of M.J. Devonshire and A.J. Woods to play the boundary cornerback position opposite Marquis Williams.
Mathis is one of four Pitt players, along with quarterback Kenny Pickett, long snapper Cal Adomitis and left tackle Carter Warren, to be invited to play in the 2022 Senior Bowl.
His departure puts Pitt at 89 scholarships for the 2022 season, four over the maximum.