PITTSBURGH—The preseason accolades continue to roll in for Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Donald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) has been named a preseason candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation’s top defensive player, and the Outland Trophy, awarded to the country’s outstanding interior lineman.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). Donald was one of 81 national candidates — and one of 12 from the Atlantic Coast Conference — named to the Nagurski watch list.
The Outland Trophy is also presented by the FWAA. Seventy-five players were on the preseason Outland list, including 11 from the ACC.
Donald has now been named a preseason candidate for four national awards. He was previously named to the Bednarik Award and Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy watch lists. Donald was selected a preseason All-American by Lindy’s Sports and Phil Steele.
The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald enters his senior season already owning impressive career credentials. He was named All-Big East each of the past two years, collecting 16.5 sacks and 34.5 TFLs during that span.
In 2012, Donald compiled 64 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He led the Big East and ranked 12th nationally with 1.54 TFLs per game.
The 2013 season marks the Panthers’ first as a member of the ACC. Pitt will open the year with a highly anticipated showdown against defending ACC and Orange Bowl champion Florida State on Labor Day (Sept. 2) at Heinz Field. The ESPN national telecast will kick off at 8 p.m.
The Pitt-FSU contest marks the ACC’s 10th consecutive game on Labor Day night, a streak that began in 2004. The Panthers will be making their initial appearance in the Labor Day primetime game. The Seminoles will be making their sixth appearance in this showcase slot.