Pitt has become well known for its rushing attack this season, and on Saturday, Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi and his staff took steps toward building on this year’s success in the backfield by securing the commitment of Daniel Carter, a promising running back out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with proven big-play ability.
110% committed to the University Of Pittsburgh #TurnOnTheL19HTS 5️⃣ pic.twitter.com/diBA45qXX2— Daniel Carter (@KING__CARTER5) December 2, 2018
”First off, I would like to thank God for everything he’s done for me throughout my whole life,” Carter said. “I would like to thank my mom and dad for always believing in me, [even] when sometimes I didn’t believe in myself. ... I would also like to thank Kansas State University for believing in me, especially [Kansas State running backs coach Eric] Hickson. But talking it over with my family, I have decided I will be spending the next three to four years at the University of Pittsburgh.”
The 5'10", 204-pound running back has a four-star rating from Rivals, while 247Sports and ESPN both consider him a three-star recruit. He held at least 18 offers and attracted the attention of Power Five programs across the nation, including Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Utah, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. However, his final decision came down to Kansas State and Pitt.
During his time at St. Thomas Aquinas, Carter lined up as a running back from his sophomore year on and averaged 7.9 yards per carry on 293 career rushing attempts. After being eased into the role in the 2016 season, Carter saw his production take off in 2017, as he ran for 954 yards and 17 touchdowns. He followed that up with 880 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2018.
Rivals recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy broke down the attributes the coveted running back brings to the table back in September.
”Carter ... is one of the more powerful and physical running backs in the country,” he said. “People are divided when it comes to Carter’s ceiling, as he’s been a bit hit-or-miss over the years. If Carter can add quickness, it will serve him well, as he has the vision and strength to be a hyper-effective back at the FBS level.”
Carter also put his big-play ability on display during his school’s 38-18 win over Venice High School on Friday night, which earned St. Thomas Aquinas a spot in Florida’s Class 7A state championship game. Sun Sentinel sports reporter Adam Lichtenstein shared footage of his 74-yard touchdown run that opened up the scoring in the Venice game.
Daniel Carter breaks off a 74-yard run to put @STA_Football up 7-0 with 8:57 left in the first quarter. @SSHighSchools @FlaHSFootball pic.twitter.com/z7U6kz7qmo— (((Adam Lichtenstein))) (@ABLichtenstein) December 1, 2018
Given Carter's penchant for breaking off significant chunks of yardage and punishing defenders, he appears to be a candidate to slide into Qadree Ollison's role at some point down the line. He joins Vincent Davis, a speedy running back similar in style to Darrin Hall, in Pitt's 2019 class, and with the two Fort Lauderdale recruits in the fold, the Panthers seem poised to build on their "RBU" legacy.