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Pitt

Pitt DT Aaron Donald: ‘Hard Work Has Truly Paid Off’

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)-The best defensive player in the country, Pitt DT Aaron Donald, took time out of his very busy schedule to join The Fan Morning Show on Tuesday.

Donald accepted the Bronko Nagurski Award last night. The award is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player.

Donald had one of the best defensive seasons in Pitt history, leading the nation in tackles for loss (2.2 per game), while ranking 10th in forced fumbles and 13th in sacks (10 total). Of his 54 total tackles, nearly half have been behind the line of scrimmage (26.5).

He says it has been fun just being a finalist, but he is excited to bring this award back to Pittsburgh.

“Hard work has truly paid off,” Donald said. “I feel truly blessed.”

Donald tells the guys that he always thought he was a good player, but he never expected to be winning awards.

Donald is not done yet. On Wednesday, Donald will be in Houston for the presentation of the Rotary Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker.

Then Thursday, he will be in Orlando, Fla., for the Home Depot College Football Awards show, where he is up for the Chuck Bednarik Award (college defensive player of the year) and the Outland Trophy (nation’s best offensive or defensive interior lineman).

Donald tells the guys he doesn’t mind all of the traveling, especially since he is not the one picking up the bill.

Donald said his dad is with him on the trip and was able to see him accept the Nagurski award on his birthday.

He said he never considered waving from Pitt despite the many coaching changes that took place during his time at Pitt. He is grateful for having two years under coach Paul Chryst and he thinks the Pitt program is in great hands with him.

Donald said he would tell any potential recruit to come to Pitt because the coaching staff here is heading in the right direction and has the ability to get you into the NFL.

Larry Foote also offered some advice to Donald as he finishes his college career and gets ready for the craziness of the NFL draft.

But for now Donald is just happy to be collecting hardware and to get to experience a bowl game.

Listen to the full interview here:

Listen to The Fan Morning Show weekdays 5:40 to 10 a.m. on Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan.