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Penn Hills' Donald picks Pitt

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Friday, April 24, 2009

All it took for Aaron Donald was one look at Pitt defensive tackle Mick Williams to convince the Penn Hills star that the could play the same position for the Panthers.

On Thursday, the 6-foot, 260-pound Donald gave a verbal commitment to Pitt. One of the top defensive linemen in the WPIAL, he fills a position of need for the Panthers, who will lose defensive tackles Williams, Gus Mustakas and Craig Bokor to graduation next year.

"Just looking at him, he's no bigger than me, and he plays defensive tackle," Donald said. "If he can play there, I feel like I can, too. I'm an undersized defensive lineman, but Pitt has been telling me I'd fit in perfect. I feel like I'm a dominant defensive tackle at my size. It's hard to block me. I use my speed and quickness to get past offensive linemen."

Donald chose the Panthers over scholarship offers from Akron, Rutgers and Toledo, where his older brother, Archie, is a starting middle linebacker for the Rockets. He is Pitt's first WPIAL recruit and second overall recruit from the Class of 2010, joining Wilmington running back Derrick Burns.

As a junior, Donald registered 14 sacks, two interceptions and had and an 86-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown that made the highlights on ESPN's SportsCenter. He was named to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25. Donald said he has been timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds and claims a maximum bench press of 395 pounds.

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