HOUSTON – Aaron Donald, defensive tackle from the University of Pittsburgh, has been named the 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award winner. The Rotary Club of Houston made the announcement this evening at the Wortham Center in front of a crowd of over 1,100 audience members.
“It is truly a blessing and an honor to receive such a great award,” Donald said. “I am so blessed.”
In his senior season, Donald has also been named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Media Association in addition to being named the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner earlier this week. Donald leads the nation in tackles for loss (2.2 per game) and is currently second on the list of active career FBS sack leaders with 28.5. The All-American candidate ranks thirteenth in sacks (0.83 per game) and is tenth in forced fumbles (0.33). Donald has been named a Bednarik Award and Outland Trophy Semifinalist and Midseason All-American by CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Phil Steele, and SI.com in addition to winning multiple national defensive player of the week honors.
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. Head coaches of NCAA FBS teams, all former winners and finalists of the Lombardi Award, and selected members of the national sports media make up the electorate that decides the award winner.
One of the few remaining stand-alone NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision collegiate awards, each year the four finalists of the Lombardi Award travel to Houston for the presentation. Earlier today, finalists made stops at Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center to visit the Front Line Kids, children who are fighting cancer here in the Houston community. Since the award’s inception, millions has been raised to help fund cancer research, public education and direct services to cancer patients through the American Cancer Society.
“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.”
The Rotary Lombardi Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, ncfaa.org.