This kid is something special. That’s what immediately came to my mind after watching CJ Donaldson Jr. block a punt then find the end-zone on the ensuing drive. Tonight’s performance by Donaldson was nothing short of spectacular. The three-star tight-end recruit from Gulliver Prep in Miami, Florida stood out among a plethora of great performances in West Virginia.
Donaldson’s night including rushing for 125 yards on just seven carries, a 17.9 yards per carry average. This included a 44-yard run and a 39-yard run that set up two of West Virginia’s scoring drives. Not to mention the five-yard touchdown run he had earlier. All of this becomes more impressive when you remember that he was recruited as a tight end.
Adding to the impressive day on the ground, which he single-handedly outran Pitt’s entire offense (76 rushing yards), he set up his five-yard run on a blocked punt. That blocked punt came when Pitt was backed up in their own end-zone, and gave West Virginia the ball on their own five-yard line. And the touchdown, which essentially started the third quarter, gave them a 17-10 lead.
It’s not just that the true freshman put up big numbers, but that he did so in big moments. Donaldson said in his post-game press conference that the 70,000+ hostile crowd at Acrisure Stadium was eye-opening. However, it did not get to the young kid. In fact, he thrived under it. It’s hard not to look at his performance and feel like there is a star in the making with him.