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San Leandro’s Ampofo driven to play college football

Enoch Ampofo competes at the Routes vs. Coverage Showcase on Nov. 7, 2020. Cliff Jackson / Staff Photo
Enoch Ampofo competes at the Routes vs. Coverage Showcase on Nov. 7, 2020. Cliff Jackson / Staff Photo

For San Leandro senior running back/safety, all of his hard work has been for a simple mission: to play at the next level and carve out a success story for the next 40-plus years.

“What drives me is I want to go D1 and I want to be something when I grow up, whether if it;’s football or something else, but I know football makes you into a better person, so that’s why I am working so hard,” Ampofo said. “And I have a goal. I just want to go D1. That’s my goal.”

Ampofo’s football career only started three years ago when he stepped foot on San Leandro’s campus for the first time as a high school student, but ever since then he’s inched himself closer and closer to making those ambitions come true.

In his first scrimmage his freshman year against Freedom, on the very first play of the game, Ampofo took the ball 40 yards to the house – a moment that signified the special things to come.

“That’s when I knew I could be pretty successful in the sport,” Ampofo said.

A soon-to-be three-year varsity contributor, Ampofo’s role has only grown as he and San Leandro have found the playoffs together in each of the first two seasons.

As a sophomore, Ampofo and the Pirates went 6-6 and advanced to the North Coast Section Division I quarterfinals. They ended up winning six games the following season, compiling a 6-4 mark and making another trip to the NCS quarterfinals.

Ampofo – who rushed for 205 yards and registered 17 solo tackles – credits the San Leandro coaching staff for helping mold him into a standout football player.

“They’ve been really putting a lot of time and effort into me and my teammates, and they just help us every day,” Ampofo said. “They come in ready to help us improve as football players and as better people, so big shout out to my coaching staff.”

And Ampofo has only made more improvements over the course of the offseason.

The do-it-all San Leandro athlete has worked on all facets of his game, whether that’s route running as a receiver, adding more strength or using these extra few months before the season begins to watch film on some of San Leandro’s first few opponents on the schedule.

At numerous showcases and camps, including a recent star showing at the Routes vs. Coverage Showcase on Nov. 7, Ampofo showed how far he has come while helping his team to an undefeated 5-0 mark and a title in the 7-on-7 tournament in the first-ever RVC Showcase.

“These last couple months my route running has improved, and I feel like I’m very versatile, so I could play slot, I could play running back, I could play wideout,” Ampofo said. “I’ve been doing a lot of good work. I’ve been getting stronger, faster and I could just see the quickness and my change of direction, and I’m just more aware of everything and I could read coverages fast and stuff like that.”

The recruiting process is currently slow for Ampofo, but he’s focused on honing in on his craft and preparing himself for the upcoming campaign. 

“Some goals I have for us is I want to go win an NCS title for our school because nobody in our school has done it,” Ampofo said. “None of our coaches, nobody, so I want to get that done. And some of my goals for myself is I want to have 1,000 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns at least.”

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