Aaron Donald College Stats: Stint at Pittsburgh Was Premonition of Hall of Fame Career

    Los Angeles Rams and Pitt Panthers legend Aaron Donald has retired from the NFL, and as his stats show, he's always been a dominant force.

    Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Panthers legend Aaron Donald has officially retired from the NFL, after ten seasons in the league. Donald was one of the most dominant defenders the NFL has ever seen, and his time at Pitt gave us a glimpse of what he’d become.

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    Aaron Donald College Stats: Career at Pitt Set Hall of Fame NFL Legacy in Motion

    An era has ended, with Rams legend Aaron Donald retiring from the NFL. He was drafted by the Rams with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he went on to play ten seasons in Los Angeles, never wavering as one of the best players in the entire sport.

    Donald’s collegiate career served as a preview for his NFL ascent. He joined the Panthers as a three-star recruit out of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, and quickly grew into a major contributor on the defensive side of the ball.

    In 2011, Donald became a full-time starter and reached star status with an 11-sack, 16-tackle-for-loss sophomore campaign — earning second-team All-ACC honors in the process. In 2012, he was a first-team All-ACC performer, with 5.5 sacks and 18.5 TFLs.

    As good as Donald was in 2011 and 2012, he was absolutely dominant in 2013. As a senior, he put up 59 tackles, 28.5 TFLs, 11 sacks, three pass breakups, and four forced fumbles. He was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and he swept the Outland, Lombardi, Chuck Bednarik, and Bronco Nagurski Awards.

    All told, across his collegiate career, Donald amassed 181 tackles, 66 TFLs, 29.5 sacks, 10 pass breakups, and six forced fumbles. 63 TFLs and 27.5 sacks came within his final three years alone, and Donald’s TFL figure in 2013 is tied for the fourth-most all-time in a single season.

    Donald’s production, combined with his athleticism and natural talent, helped elevate him into Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft. And once with the Rams, he wasted no time carrying his production over to the NFL level.

    In 2014, Donald won Defensive Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl. And in fact, he made the Pro Bowl in all ten of his seasons at the NFL level, while also accruing first-team All-Pro honors eight times.

    KEEP READING: 2024 ACC Power Rankings

    With 111 sacks, 176 TFLs, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, and a Super Bowl ring across his decade at the professional level, Donald is one of the most distinguished defenders to ever play the game. He’s a Hall of Famer in waiting, but Pitt is where it started.

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