Pitt football recruiting news has been quiet lately but that will change on Friday as perhaps one of the top two players on Pitt’s Class of 2021 Recruiting Board will make national recruiting headlines.
Central Catholic four-star defensive tackle and Top 100 national recruit Elliot Donald will make his much anticipated college decision.
After months of careful deliberation, Donald will choose between Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas A&M and LSU.
While most recruiting analysts anticipate him to stay home and to select Pitt, that’s not a lock. Anytime you’re in a recruiting battle against the likes of Penn State, LSU, Ohio State, etc., nothing can be taken for granted. The coaches should only be comfortable if and when they get a call from Donald saying “Pitt Is It.”
The next 24 hours will be nervous times for the coaches over at the South Side facility because they know the importance of landing the younger Donald.
Very few college programs will internally mark a recruit as must get but it would be very difficult to look at Donald as anything but that. Not landing this legacy recruit would damage Pitt’s Class of 2021 and would hurt them in many different aspects.
Donald is the nephew of the most famous current Pitt alum and the best defensive player in the NFL. Aaron Donald still lives in Pittsburgh during the NFL off-season, works out religiously at the Pitt facility in the Aaron Donald Football Performance Center and continues to be a vocal supporter of Pat Narduzzi and his former college team.
While all things appear to lined up for a Pat Signal tomorrow, nothing is a given in the dirty, big business of college recruiting.
However, if things play out like many are expecting, Friday will be a big day for Pitt football.
The bottom-line is Elliot Donald has the potential to be a really good college player that could make an impact early. Because of his last name, he’s going to have pressure and different expectations placed upon him but he realizes that and appears to have the mindset and work ethic to block that out.
No doubt the mission for Donald will be to make people throughout football talk about his play and not about his uncle and his last name.
While Narduzzi another big recruiting win on his resume would be important, he really wants this player because he’d add another important, talented piece to the future of Pitt’s defense.
Jaylen Twyman, Patrick Jones, Rashad Weaver and Keyshon Camp will be gone next year but it would be nice to replace them with names like Donald, Nahki Johnson, Dayon Hayes and possibly Dorien Ford. Although it’s probably not likely, maybe landing Donald will help Pitt out with another elite national local recruit, Gateway four-star safety Derrick Davis.
First things first and the focus now is waiting to hear who Donald decides on.
Will Donald decide to stay home and try and become a hometown star or will he take his talents elsewhere?
The countdown starts now for that decision.