Thomas Amankwaa had been committed since September 20 so it was merely a formality for him to make it official Wednesday. Signing the 3-star prospect from Hillsborough is a solid addition to the 2022 recruiting class for Greg Schiano and the coaching staff.
247 Sports Composite Ranking: 3-star; 22nd in NJ; 81st S
High School Position: CB /WR (6’0”, 180 lbs.)
Projected college position: Safety
High School: Hillsborough
Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ
Most notable other offers: Pittsburgh, Syracuse
Thomas is a smooth athlete as a wide receiver or cornerback. He projects at safety, where he may have elite cover skills for the position and his instincts will be put to good use. It’s possible and perhaps desirable he starts out at corner as he learns the ropes of the Big Ten. Amankwaa tracks the ball well and seems to have sticky hands with receptions, interceptions, forcing, and recovering fumbles. With the ball he is very tough to square up and tackle, shifting his weight to elude direct hits so he might be needed on offense. His offer list is not impressive but during the pandemic that is less of a factor along with the fact that safety is not a premium position so being good at football is more important than the physical traits, unlike virtually every other position. A later bloomer, he has some McCourty in him as he plays bigger than he is and makes plays at times to of nowhere with his good motor. The key will be whether he has adequate size and speed for the Big Ten as a defender. If he does, Thomas should be a multi-year starter at a position of need. If not, he still might be an upgrade over much current wide receiver personnel.
The Rutgers Secondary had mixed results in 2021. The two-deep showed cracks as early in the year few players were proficient in both pass coverage and downfield tackling. Position Coach Fran Brown is known as a good recruiter and his 2020 & 2021 additions got a lot of action this season. Long-term, this unit appears on track to producing NFL talent but requires more well-rounded personnel rather than guys who can just cover being separate from the guys who can primarily tackle.
Floor: Ruhann Peele
Most likely: Shawn Seabrooks
Potential: Jason McCourty
Check out his highlights below:
Stick with On the Banks all day for more National Signing Day coverage.