Pitt commit Elliot Donald has decided against playing his senior season at Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic High School in order to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19. Specifically, the WPIAL star is worried about spreading COVID-19 to family members, such as his grandfather whose basement he uses for workouts. He will also be taking his classes online to further limit his risk of exposure.
“I’m not worried about getting it myself, but I am worried about giving it to my family,” Donald told Chris Harlan of the Tribune-Review. “With that and everything else, I decided not to [play]. I haven’t really had a good experience there, so I’m ready to move on to Pitt.”
Central Catholic head coach Terry Totten told Harlan that Donald is the only member of the Central Catholic football team who has opted out of the upcoming season, and Pitt’s coaching staff was previously informed of the defensive end’s decision. And while early enrollment at Pitt is a possibility that has been discussed, Donald does not see that as a realistic option for himself at this point.
The 6’3”, 255-pound defensive end has a plan in place to stay in shape in the coming months, as he will be training with a speed coach and a combat trainer and lifting weights multiple times every week. As a result, he will be working out five times per week until his arrival on Pitt’s campus next year.
“I feel like with what I’m doing now, I’m going to be in better shape for college,” Donald told Harlan. “I’ll train for a year straight and still get my football workouts in.”
Donald committed to Pitt in July over offers from LSU and Penn State. In his sophomore and junior seasons at Central Catholic High School, Donald amassed 25 tackles for losses, 15.5 sacks and four forced fumbles on a Vikings team that went 19-6 over the last two seasons and had a 12-2 record in 2019. At the time of his commitment, Donald was a four-star recruit, and ESPN and Rivals counted him among the top 85 prospects in his class.
Central Catholic is set to kick off its 2020 season with a matchup against Canon-McMillan on Sept. 11 at Graham Field in Wilkinsburg, and Donald is set to join the Panthers ahead of the 2021 season.