PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior tackle Aaron Donald, arguably the most disruptive defensive player in the country, has been named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week for his incredible performance in the Panthers’ 17-16 victory over Syracuse this weekend.
Called a “game wrecker” by ACC Network analyst and former NFL quarterback Dave Archer, Donald collected nine tackles (eight solo), 3.5 tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries. He made the game’s decisive play – blocking an extra-point kick – as the Panthers edged the host Orange by the slimmest of margins.
Donald leads the nation in tackles for loss (2.4 per game), while ranking 10th in sacks (0.91 per game) and 11th in forced fumbles (0.36 per game). Perhaps his most impressive statistic this season: more than half of his total tackles (51) have been behind the line of scrimmage (26).
A Pittsburgh native and graduate of Penn Hills High School, Donald is the active FBS career leader in total sacks (28.5) and solo sacks (27).
Donald is a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. He is a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and Lott IMPACT Trophy.
Donald’s senior year production compares remarkably with former Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who swept the Lombardi, Outland, Bronko Nagurski and Bednarik awards in 2009 and was also a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Through 11 games, Donald has 26 TFLs and 10 sacks. Suh had 20.5 TFLs and 12 sacks for the entire season (14 games).
The Panthers (6-5, 3-4 ACC) host the Miami Hurricanes (8-3, 4-3) this Friday, Nov. 29, at Heinz Field. It will be the final home appearance for Donald and 17 additional Pitt seniors.