Pitt’s Donald wins Lombardi Award

Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald picked up another award Wednesday

night, winning the Rotary Lombardi Award.

Donald beat out Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Missouri

defensive end Michael Sam and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr for the

award given annually to the nation’s top college lineman.

It’s already been a big week for Donald, a senior defensive

tackle who won the Bronko Nagurski award given to the nation’s top

college defensive player Monday.

”It’s a true blessing and a true honor for people to notice me

and notice the hard work I put into this game,” Donald said.

The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald leads the nation with 26 1/2

tackles for losses and his 28 1/2 career sacks are tops among

active players in the Football Bowl Subdivision and fourth in

school history.

Donald has 10 sacks, 54 tackles and has forced four fumbles this

season.

Though Pittsburgh is headed to the play Bowling Green in the

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26, Donald was disappointed that

his 6-6 team didn’t do better.

”The record doesn’t show what we wanted as a team,” Donald

said. ”I just went out there and tried to do my job, and that’s

play football fast and physical and try to make plays to help my

team win.”

Mosley was another finalist who was left disappointed by the way

the season went for his team. The Crimson Tide was knocked out of a

chance to play for a third straight national title after losing to

Auburn. Mosley will end his college career when Alabama meets

Oklahoma on Jan. 2 in the Sugar Bowl.

He leads Alabama with 102 tackles, has seven tackles for losses

and broke up five passes.

”I’m not happy with the way it ended,” Mosley said about the

season, ”but we’ve got one more game to go and I want to go out as

a winner for my senior year.”

Sam, who grew up in nearby Hitchcock, Texas, enjoyed returning

to his home state for the ceremony.

”It was just a warm feeling when I saw the sign that said:

`Welcome to Texas,”’ he said. ”My family is excited and so proud

right now.”

Sam became the first player from Missouri to be a finalist for

the Lombardi Award after piling up 18 tackles for losses and 10 1/2

sacks. He also returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Barr is tied for fifth in the nation with 20 tackles for losses.

He also has 10 sacks, 62 tackles and forced five fumbles this

season. He was honored to be a finalist for the award.

”It means that my hard work has paid off and just to be

mentioned with these three other guys has been awesome,” he

said.