Pitt defensive lineman Donald brings home Bronko Nagurski Award
Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald poses for a photo with the Bronko Nagurski award for the NCAA college football defensive player of the year during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. Donald averaged 2.2 tackles for loss per game while ranking 10th in forced fumbles and 13th in sacks per game.
Photo by AP
Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald launched into a whirlwind week of national award ceremonies Monday night in Charlotte, N.C., winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on his father Archie's birthday.
The award, presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, goes to the best defensive player in college football as determined by voting of the Football Writers Association of America.
“I can't explain it,” Donald said of his feelings. “Just joy, excitement. I am honored. And to take it home on your dad's birthday. That's great.
“He was telling me he was proud of me. I told him all that hard work paid off. All those 6 o'clock (in the morning) workouts paid off.”
Donald, a Penn Hills graduate, is the first Pitt player to win a national award since wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald won the Biletnikoff and Walter Camp awards in 2003. He is Pitt's first Nagurski winner.
Donald, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, won over four other finalists (all from top-10 teams): Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, Florida State defensive back Lamarcus Joyner and Missouri end Michael Sam.
He will be in Houston on Wednesday for the Lombardi Award presentation and Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Thursday for the Outland and Bednarik ceremonies.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.