PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been named to the watch list for the 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy. Donald is one of 42 players named a preseason candidate for the award, which honors the nation’s top defensive player and takes into consideration an individual’s IMPACT on and off the field.

Named after San Francisco 49ers’ great Ronnie Lott, the award is annually presented by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, located in Newport Beach, Calif. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Voting for the Lott IMPACT Trophy is held throughout the season by a national panel of former college coaches and players, media members, past winners of the award and the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. The 2013 winner will be honored at the 10th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Black-Tie Awards Banquet on Dec. 8 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.

Last season, Donald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) was a first-team All-Big East selection, compiling 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.

Donald spearheaded a Pitt defense that ranked 17th nationally in fewest yards allowed (330.54 yards/game). The Panthers’ also owned lofty NCAA rankings in pass defense (20th, 194.15 yards/game), pass efficiency defense (21st, 113.12 rating) and interceptions (26th, 15 total).

Donald is one of 15 returning starters for Pitt this season, the Panthers’ first as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Pitt will open the year with a highly anticipated showdown against defending ACC and Orange Bowl champ Florida State on Labor Day (Sept. 2) at Heinz Field.

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