A short while back, Athlon named their top ACC defensive linemen in the BCS era and included Pitt star Aaron Donald. Recently, Donald was honored even more by the site when he made their top ACC defensive player list (including all positions).
Donald only played one season in the ACC but it was one of the, if not the, best by an ACC defensive lineman in league history. He swept the national awards by claiming the Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi and Bednarik as essentially the most decorated defensive player of the BCS Era not named Manti Te’o. He won ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors after posting 59 tackles, 28.5 for a loss and 11.0 sacks from his defensive tackle position. His 28.5 TFLs were second only to Keith Adams’ ACC record 33 in 1999. His career 29.5 sacks would be eighth in ACC history and his 66.0 tackles for a loss would be a new career ACC record had he played his entire career in the league. - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/college-football/accs-top-25-players-bcs-era#sthash.rTQhzenT.dpuf
Donald made it up to No. 13 on the list based on the strength of only his 2013 season since that was the only year Pitt played in the conference. And when you consider all of the great defensive stars in the ACC over the past 15 years, it's a pretty big amount of recognition. It just speaks to the kind of year he had again, if you needed some kind of reminder.
It might sound preposterous that he would not only make that list but be ranked so high on it. But when you win the Bednarik, Outland, Nagurski, and Lombardi all in the same year ...
No other Pitt players made the list and North Carolina's Julius Peppers topped it.
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