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30 Amazing Facts About Aaron Donald You Might Have Missed Before

Aaron Donald
(Photo : The 621st Contingency Response Wing)

Aaron Donald, regarded as one of the greatest defensive players of all time, is famous for his incredible ability to generate so much pressure from the defensive tackle position. He is considered to be one of the best interior pass rusher in the league as of now. He has been selected to seven Pro Bowls in his seven years into the league, and has been named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year thrice. He is the first ever Ram to have won a AP Defensive Player of the Year. Here are some really interesting facts about the American football defensive tackle that will make you go crazy for him:

    File:Aaron donald 2019 (cropped).jpg"File:Aaron donald 2019 (cropped).jpg" by The 621st Contingency Response Wing is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  1.  During the 2018 season, he broke the record for most sacks in a season by a defensive tackle, which was previously held by Keith Millard, with 18.0.
  2.  On August 31, 2018, Donald signed a six-year, $135 million contract extension with $87 million guaranteed, making him the highest paid defensive player in NFL history.
  3.  Donald set the record for fastest 40-yard dash time for a defensive tackle with a 4.68, at the NFL Combine, breaking Tank Johnson’s record for 4.69 set in 2004.
  4.  He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season on February 2, 2019, joining Lawrence Taylor and J. J. Watt as the only players who have won the award in consecutive seasons.
  5.  On January 4, 2019, Donald was named to the AP All-Pro First Team, being the only unanimous selection. He was ranked as the best player in the NFL by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2019.
  6.  Aaron Charles Donald was born on May 23, 1991 to Archie Donald and Anita Goggins in the Pittsburgh’s Lincoln–Lemington–Belmar neighborhood.
  7.  He has two siblings – an elder brother Archie Jr. Donald and a sister Akita Donald. He is very close to his brother Archie Jr. Donald, who had a less successful football career.
  8.  It has been reported that Archie Jr. Donald "bounced around the NFL as an undrafted free agent until retiring in 2012."
  9.  During their childhood days, the brothers used to share bunk beds, and make plans about helping their parents to retire early, which is said to be one of the driving forces of Aaron’s career.
  10.  He was first introduced to workouts by his father Archie, in an effort to provide more structure to his life, as Aaron was very “lazy as a kid.”
  11.  His father Archie even had a gym installed in the basement of their family home, and when Aaron was around 14 years old, he used to work out for nearly two hours with his father everyday at 4.30 am.
  12.  He attended Penn Hills High School, where he played high school football for head coach Ron Graham.
  13.  He was selected first-team All-State Class AAAA in each of his final two seasons, and compiled 63 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks as a senior.
  14.  Donald was considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, he was rated as the 37th best defensive tackle in the nation. He committed to hometown Pittsburgh over other scholarship offers from Toledo, Akron, and Rutgers.
  15.  He played in all 13 games as a reserve defensive end, as a true freshman, recording 11 tackles, which included three for loss and two sacks.
  16. Aaron Donald"Aaron Donald" by Brook-Ward is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

  17.  In his sophomore year, he moved into the starting lineup, and successfully turned in a breakout campaign, recording 47 tackles, which included 16 for loss, 11 sacks and one forced fumble.
  18.  He recorded 64 tackles, including 18.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, and one forced fumble, earning first-team All-Big East honors, as a junior.
  19.  Donald was one of the most productive defensive players in the entire NCAA, in his senior season, posting 59 tackles, including a career best 28.5 for loss, 11 sacks, and four forced fumbles.
  20.  On April 27, 2020, he revealed on Twitter that he had graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in communications.
  21.  He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the first round with the 13th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, following which he signed a four-year rookie contract on June 16, 2014.
  22.  The rookie contract fully guaranteed $10.13 million, which included a $5.69 million signing bonus and a fifth-year option.
  23.  With 47 tackles, nine sacks and two forced fumbles, he was one of the five rookies selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl. He also won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award and was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team.
  24.  He was ejected from the September 12, 2016 game, for making illegal contact with a referee in a 28-0 shutout loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Following this, he was fined $21,269 for unnecessary roughness ($9,115) and unsportsmanlike conduct ($12,154).
  25.  Just a month later, he was fined $18,231 for an unsportsmanlike conduct after committing the penalty during the October 21, 2016 game against the Detroit Lions.
  26.  The Rams exercised the fifth-year option on Donald's contract on April 12, 2017, but he did not report to training camp as well as the preseason, due to a dispute in contract extension.
  27.  This led to accumulation of over $1.4 million in fines, while every game he missed cost him one game check from his base salary of $1.8 million.
  28.  In the 2019 season, in the Week 3 game against Cleveland Browns, he was fined $21,056 for a roughing the passer hit on Mayfield.
  29.  He was in a long-time relationship with his high school sweetheart Jaelynn Blakey, with whom he has two kids - Jaelynn Donald and Aaron Donald Jr. Donald is engaged to Erica Sherman, a Community Affairs Manager, who worked with Los Angeles Rams, as of writing.
  30.  During Week 11 of the 2019 season, in the game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football, he recorded two sacks, four tackles, and a pass defended in a 17–7 victory, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
  31.  His performance in the 2020 season, earned him his 2020 NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors, which is his third time in four years. He was also selected for the 2021 Pro Bowl.
  32.  Aaron Donald Net Worth: $60 Million

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