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Aaron Donald wins Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award

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Aaron Donald topped off his awards tour Thursday night on ESPN's College Awards Show from Lake Buena Vista, Fla. by winning both the Outland Trophy and the Chuck Bednarik Award.

First, he won the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation's top offensive or defensive interior lineman. He joined Mark May in being the only Panthers to win the Outland.

"The game has blessed me," Donald said. "I just go out there and fly around and play the game of football."

He credited his father in helping him shape his work ethic at an early age.

"My dad woke me up for the early morning work outs. Sometimes it was so early that he fell back asleep. Now all that hard work is paying off," Donald said. "He told me he was proud of me."

Next, he won the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the nation's best defensive player of the year. He was the first ACC player to win the award since 2002.

"It's been real exciting," Donald said. "It's an honor to take [the trophies] back to Pittsburgh."

On Wednesday, Donald won the Rotary Lombardi Award which is annually presented to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker. He joined Hugh Green as Panthers that won the Lombardi Award.

“[Winning the Lombardi] is an incredible honor,” said Donald. “The name ‘Lombardi’ says it all."

On Monday, Donald was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, annually presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player.

Donald became the first defensive player to win a national award since Green won the Lombardi, Maxwell, and Walter Camp awards in 1980.

Donald matched former Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in winning the Lombardi, Outland, Nagurski, and Bednarik awards in his senior year.

"I'll have to find a shelf [for all the awards]," Donald said. "It's surreal. I just can't believe it. Being noted for all the hard work I put in, I'm just speechless."

Besides the national awards, Donald also swept the conference award. He was selected as the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Media Association (ACSMA). He was also named the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the 14 league coaches.

Donald leads the nation in tackles for loss (2.2 per game), while ranking 10th in forced fumbles (tied, 0.33 per game) and 13th in sacks (tied, 0.83 per game). Almost half of his 54 tackles this season has been behind the line of scrimmage (26.5).

Donald has 28.5 sacks for his collegiate career, the second most among active players and the highest total by an interior lineman.

for more info: Pitt web site



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