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Aaron Donald named semifinalist for prestigious Bednarik Award

Unstoppable force: Aaron Donald is a pass-rushing menace.

Unstoppable force: Aaron Donald is a pass-rushing menace.

Oct. 29, 2013

   PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the nation’s active career leader in quarterback sacks, has been named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, annually presented to college football’s “Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year” by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia.

   Donald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) is one of 16 semifinalists for the award named after the legendary Chuck Bednarik, who starred at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles. Chosen by the Maxwell Football Club’s national selection committee, the semifinalists included five players from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the most of any league in the country.

   Donald was one of only two defensive tackles named to the list (joining Wake Forest’s Nikita Whitlock).

   Midway through his final collegiate season, Donald is making a case for being the best interior defensive lineman in the country. He has been a relentless force for the Panthers with eight quarterback sacks and 13.5 total tackles for loss.

   Donald leads the ACC and ranks second nationally in tackles for loss (1.9 per game). He is fifth in the country and second in the ACC with 1.1 sacks per contest. Donald is the nation’s active career leader with 26.5 sacks, a total that ranks tied for fourth all-time at Pitt.


 

 

   In addition to the Bednarik Award, Donald is also a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Lott IMPACT Trophy, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. He was named a first team “Midseason All-American” by  CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Phil Steele and SI.com.

   (VIDEO FEATURE LINK: Pittsburgh kid up close and personal.)

   The winner of the 19th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced on ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards Show telecast on Dec. 12. Three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 25.

   Donald and the Panthers (4-3, 2-2 ACC) will play at Georgia Tech (5-3, 4-2) this Saturday at 7 p.m. The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU.

—PITT—