Aaron Donald is synonymous with Pitt football and usually interests potential Pitt commits, but it was Elliot Donald that helped to make a difference for a Pitt commit this weekend.
2023 three-star defensive tackle Antonio Camon, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound d-tackle from Tampa Bay Tech in Tampa, Florida, made his official visit to Pittsburgh over the weekend without any intentions to commit, but that quickly changed.
“When I got there, it just felt like that’s the place where I should be,” Camon told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I was with Elliot Donald — Aaron Donald’s nephew — as well. He was giving me advice and showing me around the town, and I just felt like, ‘This is where I need to be.'”
Camon officially committed to Pitt just before leaving the official visit, choosing Pitt over offers from Boston College, Coastal Carolina, Connecticut, Duke, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky, Liberty, Louisville, Maryland, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, South Carolina, USF, Syracuse, Troy, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
With a conversation in head coach Pat Narduzzi’s office before leaving the facilities Saturday, both Camon and his parents felt like Pitt was home. So, before officially leaving, he decided to make the decision and commit to Pitt. If you put two and two together, he said, it made sense that Pitt was where he needed to be.
And it didn’t hurt that Camon was able to watch some of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ OTAs Thursday, spending some time watching everyone — but especially Pitt’s defensive line, outside linebacker drills with Narduzzi and his parents.
“It’s right there, so you get to see the NFL players come back and talk to the guys that Pittsburgh helped them to develop and everything,” Camon said. “The players were telling me that they sometimes actually hop into what the NFL players are doing, they kinda work out with each other. So, when NFL scouts come out, they’re actually watching Pittsburgh, the team, so it gives a good idea for a guy to go to the league.”
Camon felt like Pitt’s staff, which he pointed to as being around for at least the next few seasons, is the right fit to help him reach his dream of playing in the NFL.
As a junior on a powerhouse 14-1 Tampa Bay Tech squad, that reached the FHSAA 7A state championship game, Camon racked up 78 tackles (38 solo), 28 tackles for loss, nine sacks, a forced fumble and four recoveries, a blocked punt and two blocked field goals.
247Sports rates Camon as the 697th-ranked recruit in the class (57th-ranked edge and the 108th-ranked recruit from Florida) while On3 rates him as the 613th-ranked recruit in the class (78th-ranked defensive lineman and the 101st-ranked recruit from Florida). Rivals rates Camon as the 38th-ranked strongside defensive end and the 71st-ranked recruit from Florida.
Camon had official visits with Kansas, Iowa State, Rutgers and Syracuse lined up, but he said that he’s officially locked into Pittsburgh now.
Pitt’s 2023 recruiting class includes four-star quarterback Kenny Minchey (Hendersonville, Tennessee) and four-star wide receiver Zion Fowler (Jersey City, New Jersey), and and the class has added three-star defensive back Shadarian Harrison (Lakeland, Florida), three-star wide receiver Kenny Johnson (York, Pennsylvania), three-star defensive tackle Isaiah Neal (Baltimore, Maryland) and Camon, with two more yet to be announced.