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December 12, 2013

Donald goes 4-for-4 in national awards

Call it a clean sweep for Aaron Donald.

Four major national award nominations. Four major national award wins.

On Thursday night, the Pitt senior defensive tackle turned his dominant regular season performance into a postseason dominant performance, as he took home the Bendarik Award and the Outland Trophy at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

The Bednarik Award has been presented annually since 1995 to the nation's top defensive player, and the Outland Trophy recognizes the top interior lineman. Donald is the first defensive player to win the Outland since Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009.

Thursday night's honors finished an unbelievable week for Donald. He began the week by taking the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation's most outstanding defensive player on Monday, and on Wednesday he was awarded the Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation's top linebacker or lineman.

With the Nagurski and Lombardi in tow, Donald went to Orlando Thursday night for the presentations of the Bednarik and Outland. By sweeping the four awards he was nominated for, Donald became the second player in college football to win those four awards; the other was Suh in 2009, who was also a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Additionally, Donald has now won more major national awards than any player in Pitt history. Tony Dorsett won the Heisman Trophy, the Walter Camp Award and the Maxwell Award in 1976, and Hugh Green won the Lombardi Award, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award in 1980. Larry Fitzgerald also claimed two major trophies, winning the Biletnikoff Award and the Walter Camp Award in 2003.

Donald received another honor on Thursday when he was named to the Walter Camp Foundation All-America first team.

What did Donald do to earn all of these honors? He led the nation in tackles for loss this season with 26.5 and also recorded 10 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles.






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