Pittsburgh's basking in awards afterglow

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm •  Published: December 19, 2013
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — With all media attention he's received this season, one might believe that Pittsburgh senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald craves his private time.

But that's not the case, even though the history making Donald gets recognized much more often around the city after a weeklong awards tour that saw him pick a handful of some of the most prestigious trophies in college football.

"Yeah, people know me a little bit more, but that's all right," Donald said. "It's a good feeling. It's just a good feeling to be known, to see a kid come up to you with a big smile on his face and say, 'Are you Aaron Donald?' I say, 'Yeah,' so just to see the smile on that kid's face is a good feeling."

For those who know Donald best, his coaches and teammates, this isn't difficult to imagine.

"It couldn't have happened to a better guy," Pitt defensive coordinator Matt House said. "He works so hard in practice and worked so hard in the offseason, and he kind of willed himself to have this happen to him. So, I'm super proud of him and super happy for him. I think it was well-deserved, and he earned it."

Donald said that even though some time has passed since he won the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lombardi awards and the Outland Trophy it still hasn't sunk in.

"It's just surreal," Donald said. "I can't explain it. It's just an honor and an amazing feeling, but I still have a lot of work to do. So, I'm just going to try to become a better person on and off the field."

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