Dec. 18, 2013
PITTSBURGH--Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the most decorated defensive player in college football this season, earned another historic distinction today: Unanimous All-American.
The NCAA uses five All-America selectors to determine consensus and unanimous status: Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Donald was a first-team selection on each of those five All-America squads, making him the Panthers' first unanimous All-American since wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.
Donald is Pitt's first defensive player to earn unanimous status since legendary defensive end Hugh Green in 1980.
In 124 seasons of intercollegiate football, Pitt players have earned unanimous All-America recognition 14 times. Twelve total players have achieved this distinction; Green (1979-80) and offensive tackle Bill Fralic (1983-84) are the only two-time unanimous selections.
Last week, Donald was named the winner of four esteemed national awards -- the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award -- making him college football's most decorated defensive lineman since Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009.
The only defensive player in Pitt history to receive more national accolades is Green, who won the Lombardi, Maxwell and Walter Camp awards in 1980.
The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) leads the nation in tackles for loss (2.2 per game), while ranking 10th in forced fumbles (0.33 per game) and 13th in sacks (0.83 per game). Perhaps his most impressive statistic: of his 54 total tackles, nearly half have been behind the line of scrimmage (26.5).
(VIDEO: Donald 2013 season highlights)
Donald has 28.5 sacks for his collegiate career, the second most among active players and the highest total by an interior lineman.
"It is tremendous as a coach when your best player is also your best worker," Pitt head coach Paul Chryst said. "Aaron truly enjoys the film study and preparation part of the game. He plays every day in practice like it's a game day. Aaron has earned all of the accolades he has received and we are all incredibly proud of him."
Donald will play the final game of his collegiate career on Dec. 26 when Pitt faces Mid-American Conference champion Bowling Green in the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Played in Detroit's Ford Field, the game will be nationally televised by ESPN and kick off at 6 p.m.
PITT'S ALL-TIME UNANIMOUS ALL-AMERICANS
2013 Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle
2003 Larry Fitzgerald, Wide Receiver
1984 Bill Fralic, Offensive Tackle
1983 Bill Fralic, Offensive Tackle
1980 Mark May, Offensive Tackle
1980 Hugh Green, Defensive End
1979 Hugh Green, Defensive End
1976 Tony Dorsett, Running Back
1960 Mike Ditka, End
1956 Joe Walton, End
1938 Marshall Goldberg, Back
1932 Warren Heller, Back
1929 Joe Donchess, End
1927 Gilbert Welch, Back
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