Matthew Amofa hasn’t been to Pittsburgh for a visit, but after a whirlwind week in which he picked up an offer from tight ends coach Tim Salem, he knew enough that he wanted to be a part of the culture that’s been built at Pitt.
Amofa, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback from Hillsborough High School in central New Jersey, committed to Pitt Wednesday night via Twitter, fulfilling a life-long dream of getting to compete as a Power Five athlete. Pitt just happened to be the best decision for himself and his family.
“Honestly I believe the atmosphere, the fans, just the coaches in general,” Amofa told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Like, I really enjoyed just everything about Pitt and the environment. You can see how seriously they take football down there, and that’s an environment that I want to be a part of.”
While Amofa hasn’t been to Pittsburgh, he’s planning a visit with his family right now to make it out sometime in March to see his future home.
With the speed of Amofa’s relationship with Pitt, a week from offer to commitment, he’s felt like he’s been able to build a strong bond with his future coaches but also have the opportunity to compete at a program like Pitt.
“Communication has been good,” Amofa said. “The process has been running smoothly, recently I’ve just been in contact with coach Salem. So, that whole thing, going along with the recruiting coordinator, I’m grateful for the offer and the opportunity to play at Pitt.”
Despite a strong senior campaign, Amofa wasn’t highly recruited out of high school. He recorded 18 tackles (17 solo), an interception and defended 10 passes as a senior, helping to lead Hillsborough to a 13-0 season and NJSIAA South Group V championship — including two passes defended and an interception.
As a cornerback by trade, Amofa is well-aware of the challenges of playing in Pitt’s defense, but he wants to challenge himself. His purpose at the next level is to push himself as a person and a player, and he’ll have the opportunity to do so in Pitt’s defense.
The chances of a true freshman cornerback making an impact in Pitt’s defense is extremely low, but Amofa will have the chance to live out his childhood dream in serving as a scout team player and building his body in hopes of cracking the field further down the line. As an aggressive cornerback with speed honed on the track, his style of play is conducive to Pitt’s system after all.
“You can expect to see someone that’s going to perform well, a lockdown corner,” Amofa said. “And just someone that’s gonna work hard and put their all into what they want.”
Pitt’s defensive secondary will need to replace Damarri Mathis as he’s heading to the NFL, but the starting safety duo of Hallett and Brandon Hill return. Marquis Williams is back after playing as Mathis’s partner in 2021, and younger guys like M.J. Devonshire, A.J. Woods and Jahvante Royal are competing to fill the hole in the secondary.
A handful of local recruits already committed to Pitt as preferred walk-ons since the 2021 season ended, including Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock, Chartiers Valley’s Abe Ibrahim, Kiski Area’s Brock Wilkins and Central Catholic’s Josh Altsman.
With a strong returning group and a strong addition of transfers, Pitt is geared up for another strong season in 2022. Of course, a lot remains unknown at Pitt and around the ACC, but the quest for a second consecutive ACC title is underway with spring practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side.