Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff have been heavily involved in the recruitment of Central Catholic defensive end Elliot Donald since offering him last November, and on Monday night, that effort paid off, as the WPIAL standout placed his hometown program in his top eight. Other top contenders to sign the high school star out of Pittsburgh include LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M and West Virginia.
I’d like to thank all of the schools who recruited me and helped make my childhood dream into a reality. With that being said I’d like to drop my TOP 8 schools. My recruitment is still open!!! #HardWorkPaysOff @210ths pic.twitter.com/kwyWj2c5Ap— Elliot Donald (@ElliotDonald3) August 27, 2019
Donald is a consensus four-star recruit who is ranked among the top five prospects in Pennsylvania in the 2021 cycle by each of 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals. ESPN and Rivals also count Donald among the top 80 recruits in the nation, while 247Sports has him at 158th overall in the class.
Over the course of his recruitment, Donald has drawn 15 offers, and his cuts included Maryland, Mississippi State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Toledo, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The 6'3", 225-pound recruit is well known to Pitt fans as the nephew of Los Angeles Rams star and Pitt alum Aaron Donald, but the local standout has become a rising star in his own right. In 2018, Donald emerged as a defensive leader for Central Catholic, as he amassed 8.5 sacks, 14.0 tackles for losses and a pair of forced fumbles as a sophomore.
This season, Donald will look to build on that promising start, and he is expected to make great strides. In fact, 247Sports national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn, who notes that Donald still has some improvements to make, expects him to develop into a second-day NFL draft pick over the next few years.
Should Donald decide to commit to Pitt, he would continue an upswing in local recruitment for the program, which also landed WPIAL stars Dayon Hayes, a defensive lineman out of Westinghouse, and Nahki Johnson, a linebacker out of West Mifflin, over the past two months. However, it’s unclear where Pitt stands among Donald’s eight schools, and he has yet to announce a decision date.