December 12, 2013

The Lombardi Is Donald’s

Filed under: Football,Honors,Players — Chas @ 8:37 am

Among some other things.

The Lombardi Award — for best offensive or defensive lineman — went to Aaron Donald as expected. He also had a chance to speak to Pitt’s other Lombardi Award winner, Hugh Green.

Yesterday he was also named to the All-ACC squad (1st team) and named ACC Defensive Player of the Year by the ACC Coaches. The only shock is that at least a couple coaches did not vote him #1 at DT.

Additionally he was named to the USA Today All-American 1st team.

Today the Walter Camp All-American Squad announcement. Then it culminates with the ESPN Awards Show tonight where Donald has a good shot at both the Bednarik (best defensive player) and Outland (best interior lineman on either offense or defense).

And if you want the hot sprots take you can manufacture outrage over Donald not being among the 6 final vote getter for the Heisman.

I really shouldn’t make fun of the column, because there isn’t much to say that isn’t already known. Yes, the Heisman disproportionally favors the gaudy numbers from offense. Yes, the defensive players get ignored too much — hey, just like in the rest of every sport. Yes, the only time defensive players get even a shot it has to involve a player from a team that is winning and getting national attention; and it helps if there was a good amount of hype on the player from the start of the season to help push the chances (dramatic backstory with a fake dead girlfriend is optional, but doesn’t hurt). It’s all been said, and will be said again.

H 2 AD ! and his class.

H2P or HTP, depending on your persuasion.

Comment by CompLit 12.12.13 @ 9:36 am

Awesome! Hope he gets the Outland.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.12.13 @ 9:53 am

Think his number will be retired if he wins the Outland? I say yes.

Comment by TX Panther 12.12.13 @ 9:55 am

And to think, he didn’t make the ACC pre-season list. Talk about winning on the field.

Who will ever forget him tackling two guys at the same time? All-time highlight list, with Revis runback and any of several Fitz catches.

Donald is the definition of overacheiver.

Pro interior linemen, are there to clog up the middle, and stop the run ala Casey Hampton. That is why I see Donald’s future as a defensive end in the four-three or as an inside linebacker.

In any case we will see him on Sunday’s, hopefully as a starter announcing proudly Aaron Donald, “PITT”. I would never bet against him doing whatever he wants.

His combination of upper body strength, unbelievable quickness, and vice-grip hands have been a joy to watch. Let’s not forget his perpetual motor, and football instinct that make him the “Great” Aaron Donald.

We probably would have had two wins without him, maybe one.

Comment by gc 12.12.13 @ 10:06 am

From the previous thread, pmdH2P, Baker Mayfield has to sit out unless he gets a waiver from the NCAA, which doesn’t include miscommunicaiton with the coach.

Number of awards for AD is awesome.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.12.13 @ 10:13 am

The ACC bias prevented AD from being on The pre season list. At least he made ACC Defensive player with 7 of 14 first place votes. We must be wary of it in future years especially in BB.

Comment by Frank MD 12.12.13 @ 10:31 am

What superlative figure for Pitt. For all the turmoil around this program recently, its great to see someone keep their nose to the grindstone and represent the university and city so well. Congrats AD!

Comment by Bones 12.12.13 @ 10:35 am

Who gives a flying fu*k about preseason lists, Donald is getting his due when it counts for the right reasons, NOW. His current list of awards and recognition is warrented by his actions on and off the field, THAT’S WHAT COUNTS. Based on what has already transpired with the Nagurski and Lombardi Trophies, I think the probability of him sweeping the rest, including the Outland Trophy is highly likely. In any case, he is a shoo in for first team All American and his NFL stock has surged considering the love already shown him, up to this point.

I also agree that he will probably be selected as a 1st or 2nd round draft pick, but NOT for an interior linemen position. I see him as causing all kind of trouble out on the corner at a defensive end position. How would you like to be the running back with the assignment of picking up the DE on blitz packages when Aaron is bearing down on your facemask after beating his single block on the line, that’s an “oh $hit” moment if there ever was one?

Looking forward to seeing his exploits at the next level. When he succeeds there for a few seasons, he’ll be back for the ceremony to retire his jersey number. I wonder if Coach Chryst will still be around to congratulate him in person?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 10:45 am

BTW, not to be nit picking, but the Lombardi award is for the nation’s best linebacker or defensive lineman, the Outland Trophy is awarded to the nation’s best interior offensive or defensive lineman. In fact if I’m not mistaken, Aaron is the only finalist for the Outland that is on the defensive side of the ball for this year.

IMO, that is why he is a long shot for the Outland Trophy. There has been a lean towards recognizing the offensive side of the ball on this award, although my gut feeling is we still end up seeing Aaron hoisting up that trophy tonight as well.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 10:50 am

Counting the awards… Donald is the “BEST” Defensive Player in the country. And still no invite to New York.

What a disrespect to not only Donald, but to Defensive Players everywhere.

Pretty Ridiculous already. Even more so if he pulls the trifecta with the Outland.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.12.13 @ 10:51 am

Dr. TOm,

As usual you are wrong.

From the Lombardi site:

For over forty years, the Rotary Lombardi Award has been presented annually to the nation’s best Division I college football lineman (offense or defense) who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi.

Comment by Jimbo 12.12.13 @ 10:55 am

He’s going up against two stud offensive lineman. The guy from Baylor is probably the favorite. The Aggie is also a monster and top 10 pick. Hopefully there’s no media bias.

Comment by TX Panther 12.12.13 @ 11:11 am

Just heard…

Donald voted winner of the PITT BLATHER AWARD!

Comment by PittofDreams 12.12.13 @ 11:11 am

Jabaal Sheard just named Cleveland Browns’ Walter Payton Man of the Year for excellence on and off the field. This nominates him for the NFL award.

Comment by wbb 12.12.13 @ 11:19 am


Congrats once again to AD! You make all of us proud. In the often darkness of Pitt FB you made a huge difference.

To Fellow blather guys: AD proves the guys who rate and assign stars are often wrong. Impossible to measure
heart and determination; also work ethic.

Comment by JR 12.12.13 @ 11:27 am

Thanks for the enlightenment Jimbo. My mistake, since the award is also eligible for those “linebackers who line up no farther than five yards deep from the ball” I misunderstood that “down linemen” meant on either side of the ball, so offensive linemen also are to considerated for the award as well.

Since only LBs and defensive linemen have won the Award for the last 15 years or so, only thought that it was a defensive guys domain. I stand corrected.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 11:27 am

@ PittofDreams, no doubt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 11:29 am

Come to think of it, I could see how a a guy with the tag name “Jimbo” would get offended by not giving the OL a nod when appropriate, sorry.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 11:35 am

Congratulations AD on all of your accomplishments! Sounds like he has been raised by a great family.
On an unrelated matter, is the Pitt football team practicing yet-With the game on Dec 26th and today being Dec 12th I think I would have read something about their practices since this was to be the time that the team could get extra time in? Just curious?

Comment by Bruce F 12.12.13 @ 11:38 am

Does DC House or HCPC get any credit?

And if awards and next level(NFL) matter to all these recruits as most the web sites and many of you on here claim.

Why isn’t every kid that wants to play D-line signing to be the next Aaron Donald?

What Donald to me represents is no matter how many stars are attached to your name when you get here.
Any player with the courage, heart and dedication that Aaron demonstrated can still put on a PITT uniform and reach greatness.

So to all you who have ripped the coaches and crying about missed recruits. Yinz don’t have a Clue.

Comment by Tackle Made by Hugh 12.12.13 @ 11:56 am

TX Panther – ADs number retirement ticket has already been punched. With the awards he has already garnered, his banner will be hanging next to the others in a few years.

Comment by Pitt it Is 12.12.13 @ 11:57 am

off topic but I watched some of Marion HS (OH) on TV last weekend led by Pitt commit QB Adam Bertke. They won their 3rd straight title in the state’s lowest classification (sound familiar?)

Bertke was just about the biggest player on the team. He has a classic throwing motion and was pretty accurate on the short and medium passes. If there is a criticism, he doesn’t seem to put a lot of zip on the ball.

The announcers were praising him, both his passing and his toughness — he wasn’t afraid to run hard into tacklers. They said that it was easy to see why Pitt took an interest in him

Comment by wbb 12.12.13 @ 12:23 pm

Schlabach of ESPN predicts AD to win the Bednarik Award, but miss the Outland. He does say that AD should win the award, but Jake Matthews from TAM will win it. H2AD H2P
link to

Comment by Caw Miller 12.12.13 @ 12:45 pm

@ wbb, I thought that Adam Bertke had broken his hand earlier in the season and was out of action. Is this true and if so does that mean that he’s fully back from that injury? I’m just asking because, as has been pointed out, I’m usually mistaken, so I’m trying to get things straight this time.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 1:26 pm

Maybe Coach Chryst can build on the “Donald Factor” that’s currently transpiring on the national college football scene by giving all the underclassmen on the team a nice wrist braclet for Christmas with an inspirational question inscribed on them like the one that was so popular with the Christian community a few years back. You know the one,”What would Jesus do”?

The only wording alteration needed would be “What would Aaron do”? Might just help out with that last full set of bench presses in the Pitt Iron Works when a guy’s sweating bullets and contemplating whether he’s going for a hernia or not by doing one more set! LOL!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 1:38 pm

@Dr Tom

I do not think that you are usually “wrong.” Keep posting despite Jimbo’s snarky comment.

H2P Bowl over the Greens

Comment by pmdH2P 12.12.13 @ 2:24 pm

Dr Tom, I am not aware of the broken hand but it may well have been … but he seems to be healed now. The local cable system showed all of the state title games last weekend and I was made aware by someone on this site (Sorry, forgot who it was), and watched most of the 1st half when they built up a 4 TD lead.

He played both ways … DB on defense, and he is not afraid of contact, but then again, he was bigger than most of the other players (6’5 200 lbs) He has a decent arm and is accurate on the short and medium throws, but again, he didn’t look like he put a lot of zip on the throws (maybe he didn’t have to … or, maybe he couldn’t because of the hand??)

Comment by wbb 12.12.13 @ 2:51 pm

My guess is that this Lombardi award has more to do with his playing career than his coaching career. Before becoming one the games coaching legends Vince Lombardi was one of the “7 blocks of granite” as a defensive lineman at Fordham. That line that he anchored had some tremendous games against some of Jock Sutherlands best teams. I seem to remember reading about a couple of 0-0 ties that were key games in that era. I think that is how this came to be a linemens award.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.12.13 @ 3:07 pm

@Dr Tom, As long as you keep getting the brain surgery diagnosis correct we will be glad to allow you some latitude on the Blather. Not all of us can match Jimbo’s level of accuracy but we enjoy many of your posts anyway.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.12.13 @ 3:19 pm

Upon further research Lombardi was a 5’8″ 180lb. offensive tackle on the 37 Fordham team. He was knocked out of the Pitt game and lost several teeth. Late in the game he was called on to play defense to help preserve the 0-0 tie against highly ranked Panthers. Not exactly a Little Ceasars Bowl worthy performance but a big game none the less.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.12.13 @ 3:36 pm

SofS22, thanks for the vote of confidence but I try my best to always stay clear of any aspect of neurosurgery since my medical field of expertise is general dentistry. Although I did a upper root canal on a guy last week that had such long roots that I began to wonder if I was going to tap into cerebrospinal fluid at any moment!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 3:41 pm

Tyler Boyd made 1st team Freshmen All-American Campus Insiders Team, and James Conner made Honorable Mention.

link to

Comment by wbb 12.12.13 @ 3:41 pm

Just noticed that Biz made Honorable Mention also …. a bit of a surprise.

Comment by wbb 12.12.13 @ 3:44 pm

I hope Aaron rented his tux for more than a couple days! Did anyone catch if he had a cumberbund? Which way were the pleats?

I am soooo happy for him, proud of him and how he represents our university.

Comment by CompLit 12.12.13 @ 3:48 pm

@Dr Tom….I think most on this board would replace Jimbo’s comment from (“As usual” you are wrong) to “rarely”….
And when you are, never one to shy away from admitting it.

No doubt Donald’s number will be retired in future at Pitt. With his attitude and no injuries he may have it retired on an NFL team as well.

Comment by milobloom 12.12.13 @ 3:50 pm

He wore a vest!!!

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.12.13 @ 3:53 pm

Jabaal Sheard also wore #97 at Pitt.

Comment by hoopzebra 12.12.13 @ 3:54 pm

@ Dr Tom, I have a great appreciation of your work as I used to “drill” a dental hygienist with some regularity. I won’t bother getting into her fluid tapping skillset but will point out for me she redefined the phrase oral hygene. Interesting that Lombardi suffered dental trauma in the Pitt game. There is something about the loss of teeth that adds to the legend of a great game.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.12.13 @ 4:04 pm

As well as making for even easier compliance of requests for better oral hygiene made by your dental hygienist.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 4:34 pm

I think things are falling into place nicely for the hoop squad. The ACC continues to look easier and easier. Notre Dame is in the toilet so far and looks to be much less than forecast. Virginia and Maryland haven’t impressed. If they were to revote preseason today nobody would be picking us below 4th. Both Duke and North Carolina seem to have weaknesses and Syracuse has struggled some. The depth of the conference seems soft with only Florida St occasionally impressing. The Big 10 looks way tougher this year. Wisconsin, Ohio St and Iowa along with Michigan ST, Minnesota and Indiana all look pretty decent and even the bottom end like Penn St looks respectable.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.12.13 @ 5:10 pm

Front Page article in USA Today Sports about assistant coaches switching schools – Tony Gibson was pictured and they talked about his treak from WVA, Michigan, Pitt, Arizona and back to WVA. Huxtable and two other from NC State w/experience at Wisconsin were slso mentioned.

Comment by markp 12.12.13 @ 5:29 pm

Not only is the ACC looking softer but Pitt’s schedule within the conference is attractive too. On the home side Duke and Syracuse are coming to the Pete. These are winnable games and Pitt will be easily favored in the remaining home schedule. The road sees us playing at Syracuse, ND, and NC. Pitt will probably be favored in visits to NC St and Maryland. About the time we hold sway at home and steal one on the road tests we would likely win a regular season championship and even with a couple missteps there is no way we finish 6th. Realistic expectations at this point would see us winning at least 12 games in the conference with 13 to 14 more likely than 11 and 15 more likely than 10. With the ESPN gushing over the ACC if we can get these type of numbers they will have to start climbing on the Panther bandwagon. We are rolling in under the radar and with a win in the Garden next week against Cincinati would likely be carrying a win streak in the teens into the soft early ACC schedule.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.12.13 @ 5:40 pm

Congrats to AD.

Hats off to DC house and HC Chryst for putting him in a position to show his talents


Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 12.12.13 @ 5:58 pm

Congrats to AD! He is doing himself, family and our University proud! Such a humble and mature young man! Enjoy the NFL checks, you have earned a big payday! H2P! UPone

Comment by UPone 12.12.13 @ 7:38 pm

I do not know if there are any other Defensive or Offensive Line awards but AD won them ALL.

Comment by Frank MD 12.12.13 @ 8:26 pm

The Bednarik is next, he’ll win that too. Congrats AD. You sure earned it.

Comment by Nick 12.12.13 @ 8:28 pm

donald gets outland trophy

Comment by Frankcan 12.12.13 @ 8:32 pm

Looks like Florida has some big problems right now…

link to

Comment by Jackagain 12.12.13 @ 8:36 pm

Gentlemen, the love just keeps tumblin down.

Never let it be said that simple hard work, dedication and perserverence fails to bring success, for those ideals have proven to be the qualities, tested over the ages, that have produced the modern manifestation of that success on the college football field in the person of our own Aaron Donald.

Congratulations Aaron and Hail to Pitt!!!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.12.13 @ 8:40 pm

Aaron Donald singlehandedly keeps Pitt relevant and in the spotlight.

Hail to Aaron!

Comment by gc 12.12.13 @ 8:46 pm

ACC looking real good here….AD should be a 1st round pick now as a DE in a 4-3 like Dumerville.

Comment by Jackagain 12.12.13 @ 8:56 pm

Congratulations Aaron Donald on 4 well deserved awards. Can’t wait to see his last game here in a few weeks.

Must booked my tickets. Section 105, Level F, Row 14, Seats 12-14, purchased through Pitt website. If anyone else is going, especially if you have seats near mine, feel free to hit me up. My brother and I will be happy to meet up.

Hail to Pitt!!

Comment by kanyon40 12.12.13 @ 8:56 pm

I was just watching the most recent hilites on Mostella on Youtube. wow what a talent,

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.12.13 @ 8:59 pm

I’m shocked McCarron won…I thought he’d be #3.

Comment by Jackagain 12.12.13 @ 9:01 pm


Comment by kanyon40 12.12.13 @ 9:19 pm

Donald continues a sweep ,that’s the high point, hope it helps with recruiting. Watching crawler during awards on ESPN.Low point Bowling Green favored by 3 points over Pittsburgh in Little Ceasers’ Bowl.How the mighty are brought low. Last thought.What will we do for a defense next year with no significant defensive recruits, no A.D. and a D.C.who is usually one move behind the opposition and could not close on defensive recruits.

Comment by Pitt 60 12.12.13 @ 9:22 pm

if there are any DT out there that they want to sign this would seam a good time to vist them after this he got all 4 .
i would say come to pitt you could be next hope they use this in recruiting.

Comment by Frankcan 12.12.13 @ 9:33 pm

Imagine what he would have done with a couple of DE to help him. Maybe the best award winner in college football. SUH also swept those awards, but his team was pretty good.

Comment by chethejet 12.12.13 @ 9:41 pm


Comment by PITT it IS 12.12.13 @ 9:48 pm

I can’t hate but don’t like the arrogance of AD talking about his skillz

in ping-pong.

Comment by TVax 12.12.13 @ 11:00 pm

If I may channel Tyler Palko here, I’m so f–king proud of Aaron Donald. He went from anonymous, two by far the best defensive player in the country. Congratulations buddy!

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my dad 12.12.13 @ 11:09 pm

Keep trucking AD!! Way to go. Keep your head screwed on right, give the glory to God and the Hail, to Pitt!! Sy great things about your teammates, your coaches and the university.

As far as Florida’s losses, it would be great to get a look at Silberman as he is a free transfer and wouldn’t need to sit because he will graduate soon. I would also look closer at the qb. Coach Chryst does well with those guys.

Back to the focus of the blog….Great job 97!!!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.12.13 @ 11:17 pm

We already have a backload of QB’s. I would prefer to let us recruit one being all the current ones would have to sit out a full season. We have two “Chryst guys” and Voytik and it will be “neat” to watch the competition. I like what our situation is and am more worried about our LB situation. We heavily recruited DL last year that have “promise.” If AD can do this, those kids should be able to do the same if not more.

Comment by tedsptman 12.12.13 @ 11:56 pm

AD was the D line. All the more impressive. H2P!

Comment by TX Panther 12.13.13 @ 7:14 am

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