The prospect camps that Pitt hosts every June are an opportunity for players to catch the eye of the coaching staff and to possibly earn a scholarship or PWO opportunity.
That’s exactly what happened to 2023 kicker Samuel Carpenter from Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Carpenter took part in the Panthers’ prospects camp during the first weekend of June and today he received the news that he was hoping for.
“I got a call from Coach (Javier) King, who’s Pitt’s special teams’ analyst,” said Carpenter. “Him and I have a great relationship as him and I talk almost every day. He said to me that we just had our specialist’s camp and we talked for a little bit, and he told me that we want to offer you. He then put me on the phone with Coach (Andre) Powell and Coach (Jonathan) DiBiaso, because I’ve been in touch with all three of them. It was so awesome to hear the news, I was so excited.”
Carpenter believes he performed well in front of the Pitt staff at the start of June and then turned in an even better performance this past weekend as he took part in a camp at Rutgers. Although he didn’t want to jinx anything, Carpenter was confident an offer would eventually come from Pitt based on what he showed them.
“They’ve always told me that I was their No. 1 dude,” Carpenter said. “I visited earlier this spring for a practice, and I got to go over to Heinz Field. We’ve been in touch since and I send them film all the time. Coming out of the camp earlier this month, I felt like I had a pretty solid day and they told me that they would continue to evaluate me and get back to me after their specialist camp. They told me that something might be available. I wasn’t too surprised when I got the offer today but I when I got it, the first thing I said was ‘Wow’. I then thanked Coach King, Coach Powell and Coach DiBiaso.”
46 and 49 yard field goals as well as a 78+ yard 4.00 and a 78+ 3.83 (scooter is the goal line) at UCONN today! @CoachDShearer @Coach_Kay19 @Coach_King01 @CoachAPowell @Coach_JDiBiaso @CoachTThompson @TuckerDonati @Coach_RMAC @CoachTee34 @Coach_KBruno @JTBrown721 @brendancahill_ pic.twitter.com/8mlU5ir3NH
— Samuel Carpenter (@CarpenterSam15) May 29, 2022
“Honestly, I believe I have the strongest leg in the country,” Carpenter said. “My kickoffs are usually 75 to 83 yards. At Pitt that day with a brand-new ball out of the box, I hit a 72- and 74-yard kickoff. I feel like my accuracy is improving still. I think I showed them something at Rutgers. At Pitt, I was solid with my accuracy, but at Rutgers I really stepped up my game and only missed two kicks out of like 40. I did really well at Rutgers, and I think that’s what they saw. They know I have a really good leg so once they saw that I got my accuracy, they pulled the trigger.”
I’m proud to say I won the specialists camp at Rutgers!!! Here is the 56 yard field goal to win and in the comments of the video is a 74, 4.26 kickoff!!! Thank you to @Coach_KBruno, @CoachEAllen21, and @GregSchiano for today!!! @brendancahill_ @hakuna_mourtada @coachstein48 pic.twitter.com/N7UOx19gs0
— Samuel Carpenter (@CarpenterSam15) June 13, 2022
Although it wasn’t a scholarship offer, Pitt offered Carpenter a PWO opportunity. Does he plan on making a decision in the near future?
“I think I’m going to wait until at least July because I have camps scheduled before this, and I don’t think it would be fair to the other coaches before this and told them that I’d be going to their camp and I signed up for them,” Carpenter said. “Once June is over with, I’ll probably take a week and then in early July, I’d expect to make a decision.”