"I just go out there and try to play my game. I know what we've got to do, so I just try to fly around out there and try to make a play for my team to try to win and make this team successful," Donald said. "Every play, I try to go out there and give it all I've got."
Donald was a one man (Ramblin’) Wrecking Crew. He had eleven solo tackles, including six tackles-for-loss, and one sack. He also forced two fumbles, one of which was recovered by teammate Darryl Render. The six tfl’s are the most by one player in major college football this year.
"I'm a different person on the field, so I just try to go out there and fly around to make plays for my team," Donald said. "I'm more laid back off the field, but I'm not like that on the field."
Donald currently leads the country 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). In the first eight games this season, he has 36 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks, eight hurries, and three forced fumbles.
Pitt head coach Paul Chryst feels Donald's presence is felt on the field by the opposition, whether the play is run toward him or away from him.
“The good thing about the way that he plays is that he’s able to affect the play whether it’s going to him or away from him. I thought that’s what stood out to me with his production the last couple weeks," Chryst said. "He’s a special player, I love the way he’s approaching it and we need him to continue to be even more special."
In October, Donald was named a first team “Midseason All-American” by CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Phil Steele, and SI.com. He was also named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. He is also a strong candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.
"I think he’s a tremendous example to our young guys about how to approach it and how that translates in the game," Chryst said. "He’s vocal at certain times, but he’s not giving speeches because I don’t think that’s what inspires him. But he’s certainly aware of how he can help the team.”
Chryst also credits Donald for being a leader on and off the field.
“[Donald] is a good leader. Leadership comes from within your personality. There’s no better way than to have his actions speak," Chryst said. "Not just with his play – and he is playing at a really high level – but also with his preparation, the way he competes in practice, the way he goes about things every day."