Nov 23, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) is blocked by Syracuse Orange guard Nick Robinson (68) during the second quarter at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald wins 2013 Nagurski Award


Pittsburgh Panthers defensive tackle Aaron Donald was rewarded for his outstanding play this season by being named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year last week, but he wasn’t done adding postseason awards to his trophy case just yet.

On Monday night in Charlotte, Donald was named the 2013 Nagurski Award winner, which earns him the Football Writers Association of America’s honor as the national Defensive Player of the Year.

Donald became the first Pitt player since Hugh Green in 1980 to win a national defensive award.

“It is truly a blessing,” Donald said. “All of the hard work did pay off. I am truly honored.”

To win the award, Donald beat out fellow finalists cornerback Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner of Florida State, linebacker C.J. Mosley of Alabama end Michael Sam of Missouri.

Donald is a senior, which means he will be entering the 2014 NFL Draft, where he is expected to be an early Day 2 pick.

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