Matt Goncalves has earned preseason conference recognition and even represented Pitt at the ACC Football Kickoff, and the honors just keep coming.
The FWAA has named Goncalves to its preseason watchlist for the Outland Trophy, which is award to college football’s most outstanding interior lineman — offensive or defensive.
It’s Pitt’s second preseason watchlist this summer, joining Phil Jurkovec, who was named to the Maxwell Award watchlist Sunday.
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) August 1, 2023
Goncalves has flashed his potential at Pitt since he first arrived in 2019, but the 2023 season is finally his time to shine.
“I’ve worked very hard to be where I’m at today,” Goncalves said at the ACC Football Kickoff last week. “I think the guys around me, my teammates keep driving me every day. People in the offensive line room, my coaches, coach Narduzzi, and my family too told me to never give up. I never gave up, and I never back down.
“That’s where I’m at today, and I’m happy with it and still going to keep going no matter what.”
Goncalves earned third-team All-ACC honors last season, taking 830 snaps last season, which only trailed Jake Kradel, and he’s once again back as Pitt’s starting right tackle.
He’s played in 35 games (making 21 starts dating back to 2020), and his size (6-foot-6, 330 pounds) and versatility (able to play on the left and right side of the line) should entice scouts.
He earned a 71.9 PFF offensive grade last season, with 76.2 in pass blocking and a 67.2 in run blocking, in 830 snaps — starting all 13 games last season. According to PFF, he didn’t allow a sack while allowing five quarterback hits and 12 quarterback hurries.
Pitt has two all-time Outland Trophy winners, with Mark May winning the award in 1980 and Aaron Donald following up in 2013. Calijah Kancey was a finalist for the award last season.
The 2023 winner of the Outland Trophy will be announced on ESPN’s live telecast of The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 7 on ESPN.