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Pitt FB Recruiting

An Early Christmas Present: New Pitt S Donovan McMillon Couldn’t Miss Chance to Come Home

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For Pitt fans, it’s probably felt like a lifetime, but they finally got a player they’ve wanted for a long time.

Panther fans started ‘recruiting’ former Peters Township star Donovan McMillon to come to Pitt way back when Pat Narduzzi offered him as a freshman.

Their hearts were broken when McMillon made the decision to leave home and sign with the Florida Gators in 2020.

Thanks to a Gators coaching change and a lack of opportunity, McMillon received a second chance to come home and this time, he didn’t pass on the opportunity as committed to Pitt Thursday evening.

Since he announced his decision, McMillon has been the talk of Twitter and message boards, and it must feel like an early Christmas present for Pitt fans.

This afternoon, Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with a very busy Donovan McMillon to get his thoughts on his decision, how this all came together and the talks he’s had with Narduzzi and Cory Sanders about how they plan on using him.

Courtesy Donovan McMillon

“I’m really just excited about the whole opportunity and to get a second chance with Pitt and to just play football,” said McMillon. “I’m excited to win and help this team win. This is a program that’s been already winning, as they were ACC Champions last season. I’m really excited about the energy I’m feeling from the fan base. My family has been super excited about the decision and this decision makes it easier for everyone. It’s a pretty awesome feeling right now.

“I haven’t really been on my phone the last 24 hours to check messages because it’s been crazy. I’ve really just been hanging out with my family because I’ve just gotten back into town only a few days ago. I actually haven’t been home since July. It’s great to be home. I just got to go to my brother’s wrestling match. Over the next day or so, I will go through and check all of the messages I’ve received but for now, I’ve purposely just stayed off my phone.”

McMillon made the decision to enter the portal at the beginning of the week and walked us through all of this came together so quickly with Pitt. Did he approach them first or did the coaching staff contact him?

“I first announced that I was going to be entering the transfer portal,” said McMillon. “After you do that, it takes 48 hours before teams can contact you. I entered on Monday, and I know that my name hit at, like, 9:14 a.m. Wednesday morning and as soon as it hit 9:14 AM, I had a bunch of phone calls, but coach Cory Sanders was the first coach to call me. For him to do that, it showed me that they saw me as a priority. Also, a few days later, that’s when Coach Narduzzi ended up coming down to my Gainsville apartment to see me. I was like this is great. We ended up discussing a lot of football, school and everything. It really matched up well and I know it’s the best situation for me.

“When we talked, they sold me with their aggressive defense. With aggressive defenses, especially with a secondary, it allows you to be productive and that’s something I had a major interest in. They see me as being a versatile safety, both field and boundary, also quite possibly nickel Star as well. I know that coach Sanders wants everyone to have a primary position but also a secondary position as well.”

Courtesy Donovan McMillon

It remains to be seen where exactly McMillon will fit in on the secondary depth chart, but he’s excited to get going and to make an immediate impact for Archie Collins’ unit. The futures of Pitt’s safeties from last season, Erik Hallet and Brandon Hill, have not been announced.

Regardless of their decisions, McMillon is glad to be home and to give an early Christmas present to his family in terms of him moving back to Pittsburgh.

“It’s really the greatest feeling for both my family, my friends and myself,” said McMillon. “Just to be able to play the sport that I love, go to school and be close to home, it’s perfect and that’s what everyone keeps saying. It’s an early Christmas present for everyone.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Burton Tee
Burton Tee
1 month ago

I’d love to see an article of why he passed on Pitt the first time around.

Dixon
Dixon
1 month ago
Reply to  Burton Tee

Don’t know why McMillon passed on Pitt, but I’ll be satisfied if he and others like Derick Davis continue to return home and contribute the way Petrishen and Tellandier recently did. Looks like the portal may become a friend to Pitt on this front.

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Dixon

Petrishen and Devonshire. Tellandier was an out of state high school recruit.

Dixon
Dixon
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Rose

Right, my bad…thanks for the correction.

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Dixon

You are right about the portal. It is flooded with experienced players that can come in and help.

Pittband
Pittband
1 month ago

Timing is everything, happens to be a position just opened in the DB.

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