Over a hundred college seniors from across the country are in Mobile, Alabama this week to prepare to impress NFL scouts in Saturday's Senior Bowl. Before the game was even played, senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald already made quite an impression.
Donald was named the Most Outstanding Overall Player at Thursday night's annual banquet at the Battle House Hotel for his performance during the week's practice sessions.
"I was able to use my leverage to move 300 or 600 pounds off of me," Donald said. "I just play football."
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is leading the North team in the game. He credited Donald's explosiveness and overall effort.
"Donald is a very explosive defensive tackle," Smith said. "I've been very impressed with him. He's short in stature by NFL standards and doesn't maybe have all the measurables, but he's one of the more explosive guys we have on the North squad. He's done a very nice job both in the running and the pass game."
Donald was the most-decorated player in the nation this year. He swept the awards circuit by winning the Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski and Outland awards. The only award he did not participate in was the Heisman Trophy.
Donald also earned the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award and helped lead the Panthers to a winning season (7-6) and a Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl victory.
Last year's most-outstanding player in the senior bowl practices, Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher, was the first player selected in last year's NFL draft.