December 13, 2013

Congrats Donald

Filed under: Football,Honors,Players — Chas @ 8:18 am

All The Awards


Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even on the pre-season All-ACC team. Who should totally be crashing the Heisman Ceremony on Saturday as a special correspondent for ESPN just to create tremendous awkward comedy.

But, no. Aaron Donald has something else on his mind for the weekend.

Just like Donald has been all season and how he plans to be starting Friday when Pitt will begin preparing for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26 against Bowling Green.

“I’m real excited to get back in that film room and start studying Bowling Green and get ready to play another game,” Donald said. “Even though it’s cold (in Pittsburgh), I’m missing it.”

The week-long awards sweep even got Coach Paul Chryst to break out his highest praise.

“It wasn’t just one flash,” Pitt coach Paul Chryst said. “He kept producing and word got out and I think he did it in big moments.

“I thought it was really neat to see the people really took note of what he did on the field. I thought he earned it the old fashioned way or the right way by what he did on the field.”

When Coach Chryst breaks out the “neat,” you know it’s something special.

“Comment by Dr. Tom 12.13.13 @ 2:11 pm”

Sorry but actually DM was picked in the first round in ’83.
You are probably remembering that he was picked after several other QB’s in that first round. Without looking it up, who can name them all picked ahead of Dan?

Comment by TVax 12.13.13 @ 6:46 pm

I forgot Eason. Tried to forget Blackledge.

Comment by TVax 12.13.13 @ 6:57 pm

Great day to be a Panther! This is why we are truly a wonderful University and football program! Sometimes the wins don’t show it but when you can say that Pitt has such greats out there right now like Shady, Larry and Revis and now Donald! It’s unreal! No one will wear 97 again that’s for sure! AD is a humble and a great rep for Pitt! I wish him well!!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 12.13.13 @ 7:15 pm

Any word on Street? Just watching some highlights on the Pitt site, boy did we miss him down the stretch.

Hope he is able to play in Detroit.

Comment by gc 12.13.13 @ 8:20 pm

Just watched the college awards again, and I say it again, such a humble, respectful and dedicated player! Times like these make me so proud of our city and our university! Hail to Aaron Donald!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 12.13.13 @ 9:30 pm

Jackagain, wasn’t Fields a 2fer with Henry? That was the speculation, at least,

Comment by panther94 12.13.13 @ 9:36 pm

Seeing where Pitt is expected to get a verbal soon from James Folston, an OLB/S out of Florida. His brother, Tarean, is a RB for Notre Dame. Old man played in the NFL, I do believe.

Doesn’t have a lot of stars, if you’re into that kind of thing. I think it came down to Pitt and Minnesota. Had an offer from USF. Guess there was some interest from the B1G schools, but no offers other than Minnesota.

link to

Comment by Mailman 12.13.13 @ 10:09 pm

The only bummer about all this is how little press he really got. Its not everyday a cfb playef wins these four awards, right,,? But no, it was all about winston. Like the press was chicken to lead with donald…even on espn who gave him two of those awards.

I went to all the major sports websites repeatedly thinking “donald is THE man but it was actually hard to find news about him.

Comment by DD 12.13.13 @ 10:31 pm

It hurts when Pittsburgh’s own newspapers don’t make a big deal of this. But they’d lead if a player got in trouble. Collier, Cook and Smizek are the worst.

Comment by TX Panther 12.13.13 @ 11:05 pm

You are right TX Panther. If a PSU player wins those awards, the Post Gazette guys write about it til Easter!!!

Comment by pittman4ever 12.13.13 @ 11:48 pm

If AD had an imaginary girlfriend he would have gotten the lead for all the awards.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.14.13 @ 12:34 am

@ TVax right, Marino was a later first round pick, my bad. Hard to imagine the number of great QBs that came out of college in 1982. Without looking it up I could only recall Elway, the 1st pick overall in the draft and Tony Eason. For those who want to know, here’s the list up to Marino’s pick:
1-John Elway
7-Todd Blackledge
14-Jim Kelly
15-Tony Eason
24-Ken O’Brien
27-Dan Marino
The only guy who never really lived up to his potential in this group was Blackledge, IMO. The note I found interesting about Marino’s pick is that the Steelers passed on him in the first round at pick #21. Guess that was a lose-lose situation! I wonder if Danny would have been wearing a Super Bowl ring if the Steelers had picked him up rather than the Dolphins?

Back to the Panthers bowl game preps, I read that BGSU has finals all next week so they aren’t even really beginning their gameplan for the Pitt game until a week prior to the bowl. Considering the turmoil with the coaching staff moving on to Wake Forest and Dave Clawson confirmed NOT to be returning to coach the Fighting Falcons in that game, those factors have to be viewed as positive variables in Pitt’s favor.

House has taken a lot of grief about his first year’s performance as DC. I sure hope that he ends the season on an upnote with a solid defensive performance against Bowling Green. If we do shut Johnson and Co. down, it would be only fair to recognise that accomplishment since they have produced prolific stats in the MAC this season. My guess however, even if Pitt’s defense is successful, is that the rationalization from the naysayers will be, “yeah but it was only Bowling Green”, which would be unfair.

Getting that performance out of Pitt’s defense however will be the key to victory. I’m feeling our offense will be able to put up adequate numbers to win the game without major difficulty, especially with Orndoff and Street back, which should happen. but Pitt’s D has to shut down the Falcon’s O to win this game.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.14.13 @ 8:03 am

I think if there is a better D coordinator to be had like Orlando then Pitt at least should make an offer. House will still be learning on the job next year and based on what I’ve seen unless he changes his schemes we’ll get the same results. I understand some of it is not having the right players but much falls on him. One irrelevant game doesn’t make or break anyone. I would have been more encouraged if the D played well against good teams this year. Every good offense hung over 30 points on the D. I do believe BG will score points. Hopefully we keep them around 30 and we win 35-31.

Comment by TX Panther 12.14.13 @ 8:53 am

Dr Tom, Two dumbest things the Steelers ever did, not taking Marino, and taking Walter Abercrombie over Marcus Allen.

If they make those two picks they probably win three more super bowls.

I am still worried about Street, he was pretty banged up. He is the biggest difference maker after Donald. When he and our freshmen superman are on the field together they are twice as good.

Watched the Duke highlights again, best game of the season. The offense was amazing, Street and Boyd made multiple circus catches, great throws by Savage, bulldozer runs by Conner.

Even though the D gave up many points they only show the great Defensive plays of which there were quite a few, three interceptions and multiple sacks by Donald, great plays by Thomas.

And of course the Coup de grace, Savage to Weatherspoon.

Many were disappointed at the time, it was only Duke, but a huge victory against a very good team.

Comment by gc 12.14.13 @ 8:58 am

IDK how anyone can talk recruiting stars when the Three star linemen just ran a monopoly on the awards. There were two 4 star defensive linemen in AD’s class.

Comment by DCPinPGH 12.14.13 @ 9:06 am

Our bowl game IMO is not irreverent TXPanther. For this team at this point, at this time in the program a bowl win and a final 7-6 record is a big difference going forward, especially regarding final recruiting gets by LOI signing day. To discount this upcoming game as unimportant is an error that could have the team unprepared and flat for the bowl game and produce repercussions going forward into the off season.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.14.13 @ 9:48 am

Dr. Tom as a man of science I know you will appreciate this…Turns out Matt House isn’t as bad of a DC as we thought. (And believe me there were times this season when I thought he was pretty bad)

But…The Cardiac Hill Blog did some analysis and wouldn’t you know it…he basically held the ship steady.

For any that don’t agree…read on. You might be surprised.

link to

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.14.13 @ 10:16 am

Yep, ACC is an upgrade in competition for sure. Still think that one deficit with our D is a poor turnover ratio. Another “defensive” issue that really doesn’t show up in analysis like this are the big plays Pitt has given up on special teams, a glaring weakness that needs to be fixed.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.14.13 @ 10:57 am

Since we have run out of great things to say about Donald.

I went to the archives to review the comments during an after the FSU game.

Hind sight is 20/20, but some very funny things were said: “Don’t put them in the National Championship game yet”

Many were not astute enough to recognize the greatness of Winston, wanting so much to bash the Panthers. Well tonight he will win the Heisman.

They may not win the Championship (I think they will), they have not played as tough a schedule as Auburn. They haven’t even been tested.

I blasted Cook and Smizek for their comments, I still think they are ignorant jerks.

They were the only team that blew us off the field. They are the best team in the Country.

Reports are that Saban is getting 7+ million.

Comment by gc 12.14.13 @ 11:02 am

as stated before, with coaching turmoil at bgsu, there should be no excuse for hcpc not to have this team fired up and ready to play!

Comment by goalie44 12.14.13 @ 3:28 pm

@DCPinPGH, good point and true.

I’ll take 22 Aaron Donalds.

Problem is, most 2’s and 3’s don’t turn into Aaron Donalds.

Let’s not whistle through the graveyard when it comes to recruiting.

We have got to consistently have better and better recruiting classes if we’re ever gonna be a top 20 team.

Simple stuff really. The bigger, faster, stronger and quicker you are, the better your team is.

I often, actually always stipulate, when talking about the recruiting “stars”, that most of us know it’s a flawed system at times, many 5’s fail, and some 2’s succeed. No doubt about that.

It’s only a barometer. Couldn’t agree more.

There is definitely a place for non-highly recruited kids. Kids that make themselves into a power player. Kids that have heart, grit, determination. Certainly love to have those guys on my team.

Make no mistake though. Your team wins, when you have the better horses.

I’m no proponent of the “star” system or anything.

Like I said above, I have my own recruiting service.

Wins and losses.

Comment by Dan 12.14.13 @ 3:43 pm

@Dr. Tom, couldn’t agree more.

Very important game.

Just for me personally. Win and take care of business, I probably look forward to spring ball.

Get blown off the field, probably gonna pull out the S.O.P. crap. I won’t be alone.

Show me Panthers!! Show me you’re taking this game seriously. Show me you’re prepared. Show me you’re fired up. Show me you want to finish the season off right with a win.

Coaches, show me you’ve prepared the team for all of the above.

It’s all in front of you still.

I would love nothing more than to be shown these things!!!

I always have to laugh when some people come on and say Pitt fans are negative, or are negative on here.

I can tell you right now, what the comments are gonna be, right after the bowl game.

If Pitt wins, most will be talking about the spring, who’s qb next year, what’s recruiting look like etc. etc.

If they get beat, gonna be mostly negative.

It’s not that difficult to understand.

Comment by Dan 12.14.13 @ 3:51 pm

If the game means something then I expect you to be there.

Comment by TX Panther 12.14.13 @ 5:45 pm

TX Panther, you should know me better than that by now. I’m there for every Pitt Football game, if only in spirit.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.14.13 @ 6:31 pm

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