Central Catholic star defensive tackle Elliot Donald has taken his last snap of football at Central Catholic High School.
Due to all of the unknowns that still exist with COVID-19 and not wanting his risk the health of his immediate family, Donald told Pittsburgh Sports Now on Monday that he will bypass his senior season of high school and will instead prepare for joining the Pitt Panther football program.
PSN spoke with the 4-star defensive tackle this morning to get more insight into his decision.
“I’ve actually been thinking about this for a while now,” Donald told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I’ve been praying about this and hoping that everything (COVID-19) would get better but it doesn’t seem like it has. We’ve had two cases at my school and they had to shut down practice and my granddad texted me that their was another one on the news.”
“If this would’ve been during the season, that would’ve been four games that I would’ve had to miss and I would’ve just been able to play two or three games. I just didn’t think it was worth getting the virus to possibly only play a couple of games.”
Donald said that he’s not so much worried about him getting the virus himself, it’s more about his family members that he’s looking out for. Family is more important to Donald than suiting up on Friday nights.
“I’m not so much worried about me getting it,” said Donald. “Obviously, I don’t want to get it because we don’t really know too much about it, but I really don’t want to risk spreading it to older people in my family. If I spread it to my mom or little sister and even if I don’t see my grandparents, I know they will see them a lot. I just want to protect my family.”
Central Catholic will once again be one of the more talented teams in the WPIAL and will be in the hunt for a WPIAL and State Championship so, while he’s not second-guessing his decision, it still wasn’t an easy one to make.
“It was hard because of my teammates, because I know a lot of them wanted me to play but at the end of the day it’s my decision,” Donald said. “With what I’m doing now, I’m going to be in better shape for college because I’m going to be training all year and working with my new trainer doing football and combat drills. It was hard but I feel that with what I’m doing now, it will keep me busy and will make me a better player. When Pitt is done with their season, the coaches will have more free time and hopefully I can start learning the defense so I can earn a spot in the rotation.”