Aaron Donald makes seven-figure donation to Pitt

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald developed as a football player while attending the University of Pittsburgh from 2010-13.

Donald, a native of Pittsburgh, grew on the Pitt football team en route to becoming a dominant force in the NFL, but he clearly hasn't forgotten his roots and decided to take care of those following in his footsteps.

The university announced Friday that Donald made a seven-figure donation to the Pitt Football Championship Fund.

"It was a dream come true to play for the University of Pittsburgh," Donald said in a statement. "My experience as a Panther is something that influences my life every day and I want to pay that forward.

"I believe in what coach [Pat] Narduzzi is building at Pitt and this was an opportunity for me to make a difference for our current and future players. Pitt will always be my school and I'm honored to be able to support the Blue and Gold."

According to the school, the money will help the program in a variety of areas, including "facility improvement, recruiting, technology and student-athlete development."

The school further pointed out that Donald, who turns 28 on May 23, is the youngest seven-figure donor in the university's history. The ground floor of the practice facility will be renamed the "Aaron Donald Football Performance Center" in recognition of Donald's pledge.

"Aaron Donald is a legendary football player but he's also a legendary human being," Narduzzi said in a statement. "Aaron is the toast of Los Angeles but he's still a Pitt and Penn Hills guy at heart. He's humble, hardworking and has never forgotten where he came from. This incredible gift to Pitt is a reflection of that.

"On behalf of our entire program, I want to thank Aaron for his generous investment in the future of Pitt football. We will work hard every day as coaches and players to make you proud, Aaron."

Donald signed a six-year, $135 million contract extension with $87 million guaranteed before the start of the 2018 regular season. At the time, the deal made Donald the highest-paid defensive player in the league, but that honor lasted just one day after the Chicago Bears signed outside linebacker Khalil Mack to a six-year, $141 contract.

Donald went to finish the 2018 regular season with 20.5 sacks, earning All-Pro honors for the fifth time on his career and winning his second career NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.

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