Nov. 21, 2013
PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s status as one of college football’s finest players was reinforced today when he was selected a finalist for the prestigious Bronko Nagurski Trophy, annually presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Donald is one of five finalists chosen by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America committee. He is joined by Michigan State linebacker Darqueze Dennard, Florida State defensive back Lamarcus Joyner, Alabama linebacker C.J Mosley and Missouri defensive end Michael Sam.
Each of the finalists will attend the Charlotte Touchdown Club’s Dec. 9 banquet at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., where the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be revealed. The banquet, emceed by NFL studio host and play-by-play man Paul Burmeister, will be aired on the NFL Network on Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
In addition to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Donald is a strong candidate for four additional awards. He is a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy.
Compared this week to Cincinnati Bengals Pro Bowl tackle Geno Atkins, Donald is arguably the most disruptive defensive lineman in the college game. Donald leads the country in tackles for loss with 2.3 per contest. No other player is averaging more than 1.8 TFLs per game. He 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 Bronko Nagurski winner and Heisman Trophy finalist.
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