May 8, 2014
PITTSBURGH--Following one of the most dominant seasons by a defensive tackle in college football history, Pitt's Aaron Donald was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams with the 13th overall pick.
Donald becomes the 25th player in Pitt history to be a first-round NFL Draft selection. He is the Panthers' highest drafted defensive lineman since Aliquippa's Sean Gilbert went third overall to the Los Angeles Rams in 1992.
"Hard work pays off and Hail to Pitt always!" said Donald.
A Pittsburgh native and graduate of Penn Hills High School, Donald was the most decorated defensive player of the 2013 college football season. He earned unanimous All-America status while winning such prestigious hardware as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. He was also named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Defensive Player of the Year by the league's coaches and media.
Donald totaled 59 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 16 QB hurries, four forced fumbles and a blocked extra point in 13 games. He finished as the NCAA statistical champion in tackles for loss, averaging an FBS-best 2.2 per game. Donald also ranked 13th nationally in sacks (0.85 avg.) and 13th in forced fumbles (tied, 0.31 avg.).
Donald capped his brilliant senior season with five tackles, two TFLs and a key 11-yard sack in Pitt's 30-27 victory over Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and was named the game's Most Valuable Lineman.
His momentum continued into the draft evaluation season when Donald was named the Most Outstanding Overall Player at Senior Bowl practices.
Pitt has a history of successful first rounders. Of Pitt's 24 previous first-round selections, 14 went on to make at least one Pro Bowl. Four of them have earned the ultimate honor -- enshrinement in the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Two of Pitt's most recent first-rounders -- receiver Larry Fitzgerald and cornerback Darrelle Revis -- have been to a combined 13 Pro Bowls. Both Fitzgerald and Revis are well on their way to a "Canton Call" upon retirement.
PITT'S NFL FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICKS
1961 Mike Ditka (TE) -- Chicago (5th)
1964 Paul Martha (S) -- Pittsburgh (10th)
1977 Tony Dorsett (RB) -- Dallas (2nd)
1978 Randy Holloway (DE) -- Minnesota (21st)
1981 Hugh Green (LB) -- Tampa Bay (7th)
1981 Randy McMillan (RB) -- Baltimore Colts (12th)
1981 Mark May (OT) -- Washington (20th)
1983 Jim Covert (OT) -- Chicago (6th)
1983 Tim Lewis (CB) -- Green Bay (11th)
1983 Dan Marino (QB) -- Miami (27th)
1984 Bill Maas (NT) -- Kansas City (5th)
1985 Bill Fralic (OG) -- Atlanta (2nd)
1985 Chris Doleman (LB) -- Minnesota (4th)
1986 Bob Buczkowski (DT) -- L.A. Raiders (24th)
1987 Tony Woods (LB) -- Seattle (18th)
1988 Craig Heyward (RB) -- New Orleans (24th)
1989 Burt Grossman (DE) -- San Diego (8th)
1989 Tom Ricketts (OT) -- Pittsburgh (24th)
1992 Sean Gilbert (DT) -- L.A. Rams (3rd)
1995 Ruben Brown (OG) -- Buffalo (14th)
2004 Larry Fitzgerald (WR) -- Arizona (3rd)
2007 Darrelle Revis (CB) -- New York Jets (14th)
2008 Jeff Otah (OT) -- Carolina (19th)
2011 Jon Baldwin (WR) -- Kansas City (26th)
2013 Aaron Donald (DT) -- St. Louis Rams (13th)
( ) - pick overall
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