Pitt’s Donald wins more awards
Brook Ward / For the Observer-Reporter
Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the nation with 26 1/2 tackles behidn the line of scrimmage.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) – Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald continues to collect awards.
Donald won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top interior lineman, and the Chuck Bednarik Award, as the defensive player of the year in college football. He won the awards Thursday night during the 23rd College Football Awards Show at Disney.
Late Wednesday night, Donald won the Rotary Lombardi Award.
Donald also won the Rotary Lombardi Award Wednesday night in Houston.
The senior becomes the second winner of the Outland Trophy from Pitt, joining offensive tackle Mark May in 1980. Donald is the third defensive tackle to win in the last decade.
Donald had 10 sacks and 26 tackles for loss this season. He also had 16 quarterback hurries and forced four fumbles.
He beat out fellow finalists Jake Matthews from Texas A&M and Cyril Richardson from Baylor.
Donald becomes the first Atlantic Coast Conference player to win the Bednarik Award since Maryland linebacker EJ Henderson in 2002.
To win the Lombardi, Donald beat out Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.
It’s already been a big week for Donald, who won the Bronko Nagurski award given to the nation’s top college defensive player Monday.
“It’s a true blessing and a true honor for people to notice me and notice the hard work I put into this game,” Donald said.
Though Pitt is headed to the play Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Dec. 26, Donald was disappointed that his 6-6 team didn’t do better.
“The record doesn’t show what we wanted as a team,” Donald said. “I just went out there and tried to do my job, and that’s play football fast and physical and try to make plays to help my team win.”