Pittsburgh—Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been named the Chuck Bednarik Award National Defensive Player of the Week by the Maxwell Football Club for his performance in the Panthers’ 14-3 win over Virginia.
Donald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) spearheaded the Panthers’ smothering defensive effort against the Cavaliers with three solo stops, two sacks (for losses totaling 22 yards), two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. Even when he was not making the tackle, Donald was continuously flushing UVA ball carriers away from their intended path. Pitt limited Virginia to 188 total yards and only 65 on the ground.
A viable All-America candidate, Donald currently leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in quarterback sacks (tied with six) and ranks second in tackles for loss (nine). He is second nationally in sacks per game (tied, 1.50 avg.) and ranks fifth in tackles for loss per game (2.25 avg.).
With 24.5 career sacks, Donald ranks seventh all-time at Pitt. He needs only one sack to surpass former Pitt great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman (25 sacks) for sixth place.
Donald, who is quickly earning status as one of the ACC’s elite defensive players, is on the watch list for the 2013 Chuck Bednarik Award, annually presented to the nation’s defensive player of the year.