Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald was named this year’s Lombardi Award winner Wednesday night in Houston. Donald beat out three other finalists for the award, presented to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker by the Rotary Club of Houston.
“It is truly a blessing and an honor to receive such a great award,” Donald said. “I am so blessed.”
Donald led the nation with 26.5 tackles for a loss this season and was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. Earlier this week Donald was also named the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner. Donald is a finalist for the Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award, each of which will be awarded Thursday night.
“Aaron is a tremendous young man and a terrific athlete. He embodies everything the Rotary Lombardi Award is about,” Rotary Lombardi Award committee chair Brian Carr said. “ We are so proud to present Aaron as the latest winner and our newest member of the Lombardi Award family.”
UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley and Missouri defensive end Michael Sam were also finalists for the award.
The Lombardi Award has been awarded by the Rotary Club of Houston to the top lineman or linebacker in college football since 1970. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o won the award in 2012. Donald is the second Pittsburgh player to win the award, joining College Football Hall of Fame linebacker Hugh Green. Green won the award in 1980 in addition to the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award and more accolades.