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Donald claims Bednarik Award and Outland Trophy

Written by Sam Werner on .

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald made a clean sweep of ESPN's College Football Awards show Thursday night, taking home both awards for which he was a finalist.
He won both the Bednarik Award (best defensive player) and the Outland Trophy (best offensive or defensive lineman), which gives him four major individual awards for the week. He won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player) and the Lombardi Award (best lineman or linebacker) earlier in the week.
For the Bednarik, he beat out Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. For the Outland, the other two finalists were Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews and Baylor offensive tackle Cyril Richardson.
Donald's four trophies tops Pitt legend Hugh Green's haul in 1980, when he won the Lombardi, Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards.
Donald led Division I-A with 26.5 tackles for loss this season, including 10 sacks. He had five games this year with three or more tackles for loss, and had six against Georgia Tech's triple-option offense Nov. 2.
He is the first defensive lineman to win the Outland Trophy since 2009, when Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh took home the award.
It is the third-oldest trophy in major college football, behind only the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award. Former Pitt offensive lineman Mark May took home the trophy in 1980, and was the only Panther to do so until tonight.
Before the show, Donald walked down a red carpet into the theatre and signed autographs for young fans hanging over the ropes.
"It's amazing, man," Donald said before the show. "Just to be here with the other finalists, great guys, great players. The whole atmosphere has been great. It's just a blessing."
Donald is the first Pitt player to win the Bednarik Award, which has been awarded every year since 1995. He is only the third defensive lineman to win, following North Carolina's Julius Peppers in 2001 and Suh in 2009.

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