Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald claimed the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Monday night in Charlotte, as the Football Writers Association of America’s tabbed him the national Defensive Player of the Year.
Donald, also the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year, leads the country in tackles-for-loss with 26.5. By comparison, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had 20.5 the year he finished fourth in the Heisman balloting.
“It is truly a blessing,” Donald said. “All of the hard work did pay off. I am truly honored.”
The four other Nagurski finalists were cornerback Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner of Florida State, linebacker C.J. Mosley of Alabama end Michael Sam of Missouri.
Donald, a senior, is Pittsburgh’s first defensive player to win a national individual award since Hugh Green in 1980.