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December 2, 2013

Pitt lands three on All-ACC teams

Led by senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Pitt had six players honored by the ACC's postseason all-conference team, the league announced Monday.

Donald was a first-team selection after leading the nation with 2.2 tackles for loss per game (26.5 total) and recording 10 sacks in a season that saw him emerge as one of the best defensive players in the country. The Penn Hills native has been named a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Outland Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award.

Donald is also a strong contender for ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors and was twice named the conference's Defensive Lineman of the Week this season.

Tyler Boyd was named to the All-ACC second team after the most productive season by a freshman receiver in Pitt history. Boyd caught 77 passes this season, passing Larry Fitzgerald's freshman record of 69 receptions. Boyd turned those catches into 1,001 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, marking Pitt's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2009.

Boyd, who had a record-setting career at Clairton, was one of three true freshmen to make the All-ACC first or second team.

Boyd's fellow receiver, redshirt senior Devin Street was a third-team all-conference selection after finishing his career with a remarkably productive season that left him as the all-time leading receiver in Pitt history. He caught 51 passes this season to bring his career total to 202, which set the new career record. Street finished the regular season with 854 yards and seven touchdowns on 51 catches despite missing two complete games and leaving a third game after just two plays.

Street is also second in Pitt history in career receiving yards with 2,901.

In addition to Donald, Boyd and Street, Pitt also had three players receive honorable mention recognition: redshirt junior right guard Matt Rotheram and safeties Ray Vinopal and Jason Hendricks.

Vinopal emerged as a playmaker at midseason when he recorded two interceptions and a forced fumble in the win over Notre Dame and then forced and recovered a fumble against North Carolina. He was third on the team in tackles and led Pitt in interceptions this season.

Hendricks finished 2013 with 75 tackles to lead the Panthers for the second year in a row.





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