LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (FWAA) – Pittsburgh defensive
tackle Aaron Donald became the fourth player to
sweep the Football Writers Association of America's
top two individual player awards on Thursday night when he accepted
the 68th Outland Trophy during The Home Depot College
Football Awards on the Disney Boardwalk.
Donald, a 6-0, 285-pound senior from Pittsburgh, Pa., joins three
other stellar defensive players to win both awards: Arizona's Rob
Waldrop (1993), LSU's Glenn Dorsey (2007) and Nebraska's Ndamukong
Suh (2009). He's the second Pittsburgh player to claim the Outland
Trophy after Mark May (1980), now an ESPN analyst.
Also in the audience at the Dance Hall were Texas A&M offensive
tackle Jake Matthews and Baylor offensive guard
the other two Outland finalists. Former Alabama offensive lineman
Chris Samuels, the 1999 Outland Trophy winner, made the presentation
Donald also won the Bednarik Award on Thursday night after
becoming Pittsburgh's first defensive player to capture a
national individual award since Hugh Green in 1980 when he took
home the Nagurski Trophy at an awards banquet in Charlotte, N.C.
On Wednesday night, he won the Lombardi Award in Houston.
"I wanted in this season to come out an All-America," Donald
said. "This is past my expectations being up for all of these individual
awards." will update after show.
Donald, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, averages 2.2 tackles
for loss per game. He also ranks tied for 10th in forced fumbles
and tied for 13th in sacks. Of his 54 tackles this season, nearly
half (26.5) have been behind the line of scrimmage.
He has been one of the most disruptive defensive tackles in recent
Compared to Suh, who won Nagurski, Outland, Bednarik and
awards in 2009, Donald's tackles for loss total this season is already
better than Suh's (20.5 in 14 games).
"Leverage, I feel that is my advantage," Donald said. "I am lower
to the ground. I feel it is my leverage and quickness."I started
weight lifting when I was 12 with my dad early in the morning down
in my basement at home. I have always had that work instinct.'
Additionally, Donald had several key performances during the
• Donald made the decisive play in Pitt's 17-16 win at
Syracuse, blocking an extra point and making the team bowl-eligible.
• In a game against North Carolina, Donald registered
three tackles for losses, forced a fumble, broke up one pass, and
made five quarterback hurries.
• Against Duke, he tackled the quarterback and running
back and brought them down at the same time on an option read play.
• In a game against Georgia Tech, he registered six tackles
"He's a one man wrecking crew," North Carolina coach Larry Fedora
said. "The guy is all over the play. Paul (Chryst, Pittsburgh
and his staff have done a great job with him. ... They move him all
over the place. They put him in position to make plays. And the
guy comes through. For a big guy like that he's quick as a cat now.
He can move. He's like a skilled athlete but in a big body. And
he's just got a knack and he plays hard. What a great player."
Pittsburgh finished the regular season with a 6-6 record and
is headed to play Bowling Green in the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl
on Dec. 26 in Detroit in Donald's final college game.
"The bottom line I would like to have him every year," Chryst
said. "He's an unbelievable player. He is a great person. He is
a worker and competitive. He loves the game."
The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA
since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-America
lineman at Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. It is the third oldest
award in major-college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell
For the 17th consecutive year, the presentation banquet of the
Outland Trophy will occur in Omaha. The official 2013 Outland Trophy
presentation to the winner will be on Jan. 9, 2014 at a banquet
sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. At the same banquet,
North Carolina State center Jim Ritcher will receive an Outland
Trophy, which is sponsored by the Downtown Omaha Rotary Club. He
was the 1979 winner of the award before trophies were handed out
by the FWAA.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College
Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses
the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast
678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to
learn more about our story.
The Football Writers Association of America,
a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than
1,200 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes
journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives
in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern
areas that include game day operations, major awards and its annual
All- America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award
programs, contact Steve Richardson at email@example.com or 972-713-6198.
The Greater Omaha Sports Committee, founded
in 1977, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, consisting of more
than 300 men and women from the City of Omaha and the State of Nebraska.
The membership serves to communicate, develop, initiate and promote
sports activities in the Greater Omaha sports area.
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