July 8, 2013
PITTSBURGH--Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald received another preseason accolade today when the Maxwell Football Club named him to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, annually presented to the nation's top defensive player.
Donald is one of 75 players recognized as a preseason candidate for the prestigious honor named after the legendary Chuck Bednarik, who starred at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles. The watch list candidates were chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes both past performance and future potential.
The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) enters his senior season already owning impressive career credentials. He was named All-Big East each of the past two years, collecting 16.5 sacks and 34.5 TFLs during that span.
In 2012, Donald compiled 64 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He led the Big East and ranked 12th nationally with 1.54 TFLs per game.
In addition to the Bednarik Award recognition, Donald has been named to the Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy (nation's top defensive player) watch list. He was selected a preseason All-American by Lindy's Sports and Phil Steele. No fewer than four different publications have named him a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection (Athlon, Lindy's Sports, Phil Steele and Sporting News).
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 29, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 25. The winner of the 2013 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 12.
The 2013 season marks the Panthers' first as a member of the ACC. Pitt will open the year with a highly anticipated showdown against defending ACC and Orange Bowl champion Florida State on Labor Day (Sept. 2) at Heinz Field. The ESPN national telecast will kick off at 8 p.m.
The Pitt-FSU contest marks the ACC's 10th consecutive game on Labor Day night, a streak that began in 2004. The Panthers will be making their initial appearance in the Labor Day primetime game. The Seminoles will be making their sixth appearance in this showcase slot.
Pitt football season-ticket packages are currently selling at a record pace. To order, log on to PittsburghPanthers.com or call 800-643-PITT (7488).
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