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Aaron Donald named semifinalist for Rotary Lombardi Award

Aaron Donald is one of the nation's finest players.

Aaron Donald is one of the nation's finest players.

Nov. 7, 2013

   PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald, arguably the most disruptive defensive lineman in the country, has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the prestigious Rotary Lombardi Award.

   Announced this afternoon by the Rotary Club of Houston, the semifinalist list includes eight defensive players and four offensive players. Donald is the only defensive tackle on the list.

   Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.

   Finalists for the 44th Rotary Lombardi Award will be announced on Nov. 21.

   Donald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) is one of the country’s most productive defensive players regardless of position. He leads the nation in tackles for loss (2.4 per game), ranks third in sacks (1.1 per game) and is 12th in forced fumbles (0.38 per game).

   Through eight games he has totaled 36 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, nine quarterback sacks, eight QB hurries and three forced fumbles.

   This is the second time Donald has been named a semifinalist for a national award. He is also a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the college defensive player of the year. Donald was named a quarterfinalist for the Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy last month and is also a viable candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy.



   It has been a week full of recognition for Pitt’s 6-foot, 285-pound team captain. Following a dominating performance at Georgia Tech last Saturday, Donald received three different weekly awards —  Chuck Bednarik Award National Defensive Player of the Week, FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week and ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

   Donald’s jaw-dropping stat line at Georgia Tech included 11 tackles (all solo), six tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a sack against the Yellow Jackets. His six TFLs are the most by a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) player this season. Incredibly, nearly 10% of Georgia Tech’s 63 offensive plays ended with a TFL by Donald.

   Donald and the Panthers will be back in action this Saturday, Nov. 9, when they host Notre Dame at Heinz Field. The game will be nationally televised by ABC (WTAE-TV, Channel 4, in Pittsburgh) and kick off at 8 p.m.

   The complete 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award semifinalist list:

   Anthony Barr (SR, LB, UCLA)

   Vic Beasley (JR, DE, Clemson)

   Jadeveon Clowney (JR, DE, South Carolina)

   Aaron Donald (SR, DT, Pittsburgh)

   Taylor Lewan (SR, OT, Michigan)

   Jake Matthews (SR, OT, Texas A&M)

   CJ Mosley (SR, LB, Alabama)

   Trent Murphy (SR, LB, Stanford)

   Cyril Richardson (SR, OG, Baylor)

   Michael Sam (SR, DE, Missouri)

   Kyle Van Noy (SR, LB, Brigham Young)

   David Yankey (JR, OT, Stanford)