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Pitt's Donald Wins ACC Defensive Player of Year

Updated: Thursday, December 5 2013, 12:36 AM EST

PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the national leader in tackles for loss, has been selected the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Media Association (ACSMA).                                                          

   This is the latest honor for Donald, who earlier this week was named first team All-ACC by ACSMA. The Pittsburgh native is also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.

   Donald led the ACC Defensive Player of the Year balloting with 44 votes. Wake Forest nose guard Nikita Whitlock followed with 10, and Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner placed third with eight votes. Boston College linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis received two votes, while Florida State safety Terrence Brooks had one.

   “There are some great defensive players in the ACC, so to be selected for this award is a tremendous honor,” Donald said. “I would like to thank my Pitt coaches and teammates because they share in this award. I’d also like to thank ACSMA for recognizing not only me but also Pitt with this honor.”  

   The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald is the Panthers’ first conference player of the year since 2010 when end Jabaal Sheard, now of the Cleveland Browns, was named the Big East’s top defensive player.

One of the most disruptive players in the country, Donald leads the nation in tackles for loss (2.2 per game), while ranking 12th in forced fumbles (tied, 0.33 per game) and 16th in sacks (tied, 0.83 per game). Perhaps his most impressive statistic this season: of his 54 total tackles, nearly half have been behind the line of scrimmage (26.5).

Courtesy University of Pittsburgh Athletics

Pitt's Donald Wins ACC Defensive Player of Year


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