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Pitt All 105: Pitt Needs DT Elliot Donald to Take the Next Step

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Pitt defesive tackle Elliot Donald

All 105 is a Pittsburgh Sports Now series profiling each of the 105 members of the Pitt 2024 training camp roster. 

Elliot Donald, a redshirt junior defensive tackle from Central Catholic in Pittsburgh, Pa.

2023 season: Donald played in seven games last season, recording two tackles

Stats: Donald has recorded six tackles (two solo), a half tackle for loss, a half sack and a pass breakup over 15 games in his Pitt career

Camp outlook: Donald will work with the 1s and 2s throughout the summer, as he did in the spring, and despite his relative inexperience, he’s one of the older linemen in the room now

Projected role: Donald, fairly or otherwise, has been expected to break out in each of the past two offseasons. He’s a big, strong tackle who arrived with the pedigree and the promise. He has the opportunity now to take that next step and carve out a role, but it’s not guaranteed

Elliot Donald (6-foot-3, 275 pounds) was a top-ranked four-star recruit (and the legacy of the legendary Aaron Donald) when he committed to Pitt in 2020 over Kent State, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Toledo, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Donald put together a dominant junior season at Central Catholic, sat out his senior season due to COVID-19 and has played very few snaps during his time at Pitt.

He only played 50 snaps last season and when the defensive line is brought up, it’s often his teammates who are brought up by the coaching staff. It’s always been complimentary, that he’s continuing to grow and develop, but it’s usually been when prompted. Now he has a legitimate opportunity — and need — before him to show that he’s developed into an impact player.

Pitt is thin on the inside, and Nakhi Johnson, Sean FitzSimmons, Nick James, Isaiah Neal and even the true freshmen, Jahsear Whittington and Francis Brewu, are in the mix. Donald has an opportunity before him, he needs to take advantage of it this summer.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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