Nov. 19, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- Pitt's Aaron Donald, the most disruptive defensive tackle in the country, has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious Outland Trophy, annually awarded to the nation's best offensive or defensive interior lineman.
Donald is the only defensive player among the six semifinalists for the award, announced this evening by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The other semifinalists are Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews, Baylor offensive guard Cyril Richardson, Florida State center Bryan Stork and Stanford offensive guard David Yankey.
Three finalists for the Outland Trophy will be announced on Monday, Nov. 25, and featured on ESPN the following evening at 5:30 p.m. The winner of the 68th Outland Trophy will be revealed on Thursday, Dec. 12, on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards telecast from the Dance Hall on the Disney Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Described by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly as "a one-man wrecking crew," Donald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) leads the country in tackles for loss with 2.3 per game. No other player is averaging more than 1.8 TFLs per contest. Donald also ranks sixth in sacks (1.0 per game) and eighth in forced fumbles (0.40 per game).
Donald is the only defensive tackle ranked in the top 10 nationally in sacks. He is the overall FBS active career leader with 28.5 sacks.
Donald's senior year production compares remarkably with former Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the 2009 Outland Trophy winner and Heisman Trophy finalist.
Through 10 games, Donald has 22.5 TFLs and 10 sacks. Suh had 20.5 TFLs and 12 sacks for the entire season (14 games).
Pitt's lone winner of the Outland Trophy is offensive tackle Mark May, who won the award in 1980 and went on to NFL fame as a member of the Washington Redskins' "Hogs" offensive line. May, whose No. 73 jersey is retired at Pitt, was enshrined in the College Hall of Fame in 2005.
The Panthers' last Outland finalist was offensive guard Mark Stepnoski in 1988. Stepnoski was a consensus All-American that season and played 13 years in the NFL.
This is the fourth national award to name Donald a semifinalist. He was previously selected a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, Rotary Lombardi Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy. Donald is also a strong candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which will announce its finalists this Thursday.
Donald vs. Suh: TFLs and Sacks (NCAA.org statistics)
|NDAMUKONG SUH TACKLES FOR LOSS - 2009|
|Games - 14 | TFLs - 20.5 | Yards - 93 | Per Game - 1.46|
|AARON DONALD TACKLES FOR LOSS - 2013|
|Games - 10 | TFLs - 22.5 | Yards - 112 | Per Game - 2.25|
|NDAMUKONG SUH QUARTERBACK SACKS - 2009|
|Games - 14 | Sacks - 12.0 | Yards - 77 | Per Game - 0.86|
|AARON DONALD SACKS - 2013|
|Games - 10 | Sacks - 10.0 | Yards - 73 | Per Game - 1.00|
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