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Former Pitt OL Matt Goncalves Wearing New Number in the NFL

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Former Pitt offensive lineman Matt Goncalves.

Matt Goncalves wore the No. 76 all five seasons at Pitt, but he will be switching to 71 with the Indianapolis Colts for his rookie season.

Goncalves hasn’t signed with the Colts yet, after being selected in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft, but it appears to be only a formality at this point. Former teammates Bub Means (New Orleans Saints) and M.J. Devonshire (Las Vegas Raiders) signed their rookie contracts Friday morning.

The Colts kicked off rookie camp Friday, and while there’s no guaranteed path to immediate playing time, Goncalves will work to crack the rotation and find his way onto the field.

His excitement to be a Colt shined through immediately upon receiving a phone call from Colts general manager Chris Ballard on draft night to inform him that the Colts traded up and were about to select him with the 79th pick in the draft.

“Let’s go, let’s go. I’m a f****** Colt, baby,” Goncalves said while on the phone with Ballard. “I’m a f****** Colt!”

Anything else that Goncalves said — or was trying to say — was drowned out by the approximately 30 or so friends and family at the Goncalves’ house.

“There is no doubt you’re gonna fit in, big guy,” Ballard said.

“You guys won’t f****** regret it,” Goncalves told him, “you won’t regret it!”

Goncalves is a big (6-foot-6, 327 pounds) offensive lineman, with experience at left and right tackle, who bided his time in Pittsburgh to emerge as a team captain and starting left tackle in the 2023 season.

His senior season was cut short due to a lingering toe injury, which required surgery, but he started — and excelled — in all three games he played. It was expected that Goncalves would break out last season following a strong campaign in 2022.

Goncalves earned third-team All-ACC honors in 2022, racking up 830 snaps last season, which only trailed fellow lineman Jake Kradel offensively and flashed the ability to play on either side of the line. He made 11 starts at left tackle and 13 starts at right tackle, finishing his career with 35 appearances.

He will have the opportunity to come into min-camp in Indy, finally healthy, and look to compete for a spot as a depth option in his first NFL season. It’s safe to say he’s fired up for the opportunity.

“What’s up, Indianapolis? Matt Goncalves here,” he said in a welcome post on X (formerly known as X). “Fired up to join Colts Nation, join the offensive line, let’s get it. Never been more fired up in my life, let’s go.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
18 days ago

sweet!!!

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