It’s not often that a young wide receiver walks into a wide receivers room like Pitt’s and immediately makes an impact. But that’s exactly what former Akron wide receiver Konata Mumpfield did.
Originally a low three-star recruit out of Dacula High School in Georgia, Mumpfield received interest from schools like Pitt, however, he received his only FBS offer from Akron. Mumpfield always believed in himself, knowing he was more talented than the stars and rating painted him to be.
“As a kid coming out of high school, I always felt like I was a pretty big-time player,” Mumpfield said. “I played 7-on-7 with Josh Downs, Arik Gilbert, Harrison Bailey, I played with the best so I kinda had that chip on my shoulder going into Akron.”
Where Downs, Gilbert and Bailey were four- and five-star recruits committing to schools like North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, Mumpfield was just barely a three-star at Group of Five bottom-feeder Akron.
That didn’t stop Mumpfield though. In his college debut, he hauled in three passes for 19 yards against Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium and a few weeks later, he emerged as Akron’s top option, hauling in seven receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown against Ohio State at the Horseshoe.
With a 79th-ranked passing attack in 2021, on a 2-10 Akron team, Mumpfield still emerged as one of the best freshmen receivers in college football. With 751 yards and eight touchdowns, he emerged as one of the top wideouts in the Mid-American Conference.
The chip on Mumpfield’s shoulder lingered all season, and he proved that belonged — and then some as a freshman All-American selection.
At the conclusion of Akron’s season, Mumpfield decided to hit the transfer portal, and while it was a difficult decision, he saw it as a business decision. It was a quick decision in the end, but Mumpfield just wanted to make a well-thought-out decision. And he couldn’t deny the impact his lone season at Akron had.
“It was a blessing,” Mumpfield said. “I have to give them all my thanks because it was very eye-opening to me, it taught me a lot. Going into Akron, I had a great season, more than I really expected – I knew I could contribute right off the rip, but blessings continued flowing, I kept playing my game and stayed healthy.”
With a lot of schools vying for his commitment, Pitt did enough to jump back into Mumpfield’s recruitment and secure his services over a lot of powers.
“(Pitt) actually recruited me heavy out of high school,” Mumpfield said. “They were a big part of my recruitment, and when I was leaving Akron, I had some people that worked in the building just tell me how good the people were and the tradition. Obviously, an ACC championship is really appealing, the numbers Jordan (Addison) put up, how the offense was producing, coach Narduzzi, he’s a very energetic person, I really liked his energy.”
As a kid who grew up watching and supporting SEC football, offers from the likes of Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky, UCF, USC, Utah, Minnesota, Rutgers, Indiana, LSU, Georgia and Texas A&M felt like a dream for Mumpfield, but Pitt did enough to secure his signature.
Now that Mumpfield has arrived in Pittsburgh, he’s focused on emerging as one of the top wide receivers in the ACC. Even with a Biletnikoff winner in Jordan Addison and a strong second option in Jared Wayne, Mumpfield feels like Pitt’s wide receivers room is special because each member has their own goals, and that’ll only help the unit grow.
“They all got their own goals, which I love because we’re all trying to get to where we want to get, and I feel like that’s what’s best for us in the future so we can grow and get better,” Mumpfield said.
With established guys like Addison and Wayne, and young guys like Jaylon Barden and Jaden Bradley, Pitt has a loaded wide receivers room. And Mumpfield only adds to the advantage Putt currently holds in the ACC.
At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Mumpfield showed out as one of the best receivers in single coverage this season. When facing single coverage, his separation rate was among the best in all of college football. A crisp route runner, he’s looking forward to utilizing Pitt’s system.
“We were actually watching film when I was at Akron, on Pitt when we played Western Michigan, and it kinda caught my eye the way they were just moving around moving, how they knew how to put people in different spots and create different matchups. I feel like it can be the same way,” Mumpfield said.
With some of the best route running in college football, his short-area quickness and ability to turn quick passes and deep shots into explosive plays provide a perfect complement to Addison — without even mentioning Pitt’s top second options.
Now that Mumpfield has arrived at Pitt, he’s focused on increasing his speed and building upon his physical fitness, and he feels like Pitt is able to help him reach his goals now.
“The body aspect of it,” Mumpfield said about focusing on improvements. “Coming in my first year, I saw people were a lot stronger, faster than – I would say Georgia has pretty good high school football but the college level is definitely different. Just the physical aspect.”
With spring ball just a few weeks, whether it’s USC transfer Kedon Slovis or Nick Patti throwing him the ball, Mumpfield just wants to go out and show that he’s a reliable option for any Pitt quarterback.
“Just being me, I’m a competitor, so really just going out and showing what I can – my route running ability, make sure I catch every ball, getting the playbook down early,” Mumpfield said.
The star out of Georgia may have a season of college football under his belt, but now that he’s at Pitt, he’s ready to show that he’s been a star all along.