Pitt has continued to make progress on the recruiting trail despite the travel restrictions in place due to the spread of COVID-19, and on Tuesday, that trend continued, as the program made the top eight of Colby McDonald, a running back out of St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C.
March 31, 2020
McDonald placed four ACC programs in his list of finalists, as well as two Big Ten programs and two SEC programs. Aside from Pitt, the list included Boston College, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Ole Miss, Syracuse and Tennessee.
The 5’11”, 200-pound running back holds three-star ratings across the board from 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals. The analysts at 247Sports consider McDonald the No. 65 running back in the country as well as the No. 7 prospect out of the District of Columbia in the 2021 cycle, while Rivals ranks him as the No. 6 D.C. prospect.
During the 2019 season, McDonald ran for 1,200 yards and scored 14 touchdowns at St. John’s, which opened the season ranked as the No. 5 high school team in the nation. One of his season highlights includes a 127-yard, two-score showing against Bishop McNamara last October, which included a 97-yard touchdown run reminiscent of former Pitt running back Qadree Ollison’s record-setting 97-yard rush against Virginia Tech in 2018.
McDonald spoke highly of Pitt in a recent interview with Brian Dohn of 247Sports in which he broke down his top eight.
“They have really made me a big priority in their recruiting process, and I really appreciate all the love they give me," he said. "I have a good relationship with their running backs coach.”
Pitt currently has six running backs on its roster, and five will remain at the start of the 2021 season as things currently stand. The team struggled to get production from its backfield in 2019, as A.J. Davis was the Panthers’ leading rusher, with 530 yards. So a recruit with McDonald’s skill set could benefit the Panthers significantly.