Aaron Donald became Pitt's 25th first-round draft pick Thursday night, but Panther-Lair.com's coverage of the Penn Hills native started a long time before his name was called. Here's a look back at some of the content we've produced over the course of Donald's career.
April 23, 2009 - "After the first time I went down there, I fell in love with Pitt. It's really the perfect fit."
May 18, 2010 - "I'm a hard-worker, tough football player. I'm somebody that will come down there and make a difference. I committed to Pitt to go down there and show them what I can do."
November 28, 2012 - "To do it constantly, every game, I think that's the mark of heck of a football player, and that's what he is. You truly appreciate that."
July 8, 2013 - Donald never expected to garner such recognition - "Not at all," he said Monday - but his approach hasn't changed. "You can't focus on all of that, because you still have to go out there and play football."
November 19, 2013 - Donald doesn't fit the bill of a playmaking lineman, since he stands just around six feet tall and weighs less than 300 pounds. But game after game, Donald is a presence in the trenches, keying Pitt's defensive attack and drawing the attention of every offensive coordinator and line coach from New Mexico to Syracuse.
November 24, 2013 - The thing is, Donald's "job" isn't exactly the same as anyone else's, it seems. On more than one occasion this season, the senior defensive tackle has looked like a man on a mission, intent on single-handedly bringing him team back from a deficit and pushing himself to do more when the team wasn't succeeding.
November 26, 2013 - He might be dead last in the country when it comes to boasting about his numbers, and he still finds a way to stay focused despite all the hype.
December 2, 2013 - Aaron Donald's 2013 season highlights
December 4-18, 2013 - The awards
December 13, 2013 - Dorsett, Green and Fitzgerald are the only other players in Pitt history to win at least two major national awards. Dorsett, Green and Fitzgerald have something else in common as well: They have all had their numbers retired at Pitt.
February 23, 2014 - At the NFL Combine
March 4, 2014 - "When I'm retired someday, when I'm done playing football, that's when I'll be relaxing and look back at some things. But right now I still have a lot of work to do."
May 8, 2014 - On Thursday night, Donald didn't have to wait that long to hear his name called on a national stage.
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