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Donald named ACC first team

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Honors and accolades have come in droves for Pitt senior defensive lineman Aaron Donald this season. That continued on Monday as Donald was the lone Panther to be named to the Atlantic Coast Conference first team.

Donald has already been named a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Outland Trophy, and the Rotary Lombardi Award. He was named as the ACC Defensive Lineman of the week two times this season.

He logged the best tackle-for-loss ratio in the country this year averaging 2.2 per game. He is also second in active players in career sacks with 28.5.

Five other Panthers joined Donald on the all-ACC team which is determined by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

Freshman receiver Tyler Boyd, redshirt senior Devin Street, junior safety Ray Vinopal, senior safety Jason Hendricks, and junior offensive lineman Matt Rotheram also made the list.

Boyd was named to the second team. He broke the freshman reception record Friday against Miami when he caught nine passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. He ended the regular season with 77 catches and 1,001 yards and seven touchdowns. The previous record was held by Panther great Larry Fitzgerald who caught 69 passes in his freshman year (2002).

Street was named to the third team. He became Pitt’s all-time reception leader when he caught nine passes against Navy on Oct. 26, surpassing Latef Grim, who had 178 catches during the 1998-2000 seasons. Street ended the regular season with 202 receptions. He ranks third at Pitt in receiving yards with 2,901. He is 161 yards short of Pitt leader Antonio Bryant, who gained 3,061 yards from 1999-2001.

Boyd and Street are the only pair of teammates to rank in the ACC’s Top 5 in both receiving yards per game and receptions per game.

Hendricks, Vinopal, and Rotheram were all named honorable mention. Hendricks led the Panthers in tackles for the second straight season, finishing the year with 75. The senior also recorded an interception in Pitt’s win at Duke when he returned it 19 yards, giving him eight interceptions for his career.

Vinopal led the Panthers in interceptions this year with three. He also had two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, He finished third on the team in tackles with 72. Rotheram has recorded the most starts by an active Pitt offensive lineman. He started every game this season at right guard and helped the Panthers average 351.8 yards of total offense per game.

for more info: Pitt web site ACC web site



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