Rams News: Aaron Donald Explains Why He Made Record Seven-Figure Donation To Pitt Football Program

The best NFL players build their legacy on the field. The most impactful players focus on building their legacy both on and off the field.

For Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, with only five pro seasons under his belt, his on-field legacy is already one of the greatest. Recently, Donald added to his off-field legacy.

In early April, the University of Pittsburgh announced that Donald had made a seven-figure donation to the football program that he played for. That marked Donald as the youngest seven-figure donor and his donation as the largest by a former Pitt football player in the school’s history.

For Donald, this opportunity is really the pinnacle of what he believed his college football journey would be, via Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“This is home,” Donald said. “This is the school I watched on TV as a kid and I dreamed about playing for. For it to be here in my hometown at a university I grew up cheering for and wanting to play for, for it to come full circle like it did, you can’t write that story better than that.”

According to Meyer, Donald may have had this idea has early as high school. Donald’s high school, Penn Hills, had an athletic facility named for Pitt legend Bill Fralic.

Donald and Fralic developed a relationship and the Pitt legend helped a young Donald develop a sense for what legacy can mean. According to Meyer, Fralic encouraged Donald to give back when and if he had the opportunity to do so. Fralic passed away last December.

Following the advice Fralic had given him, Donald is happy that his impact at Pitt will be felt for years to come:

“When it’s all said and done, when I’m no longer around and no longer doing anything, you’re leaving a legacy behind that’s going to be there forever,” he said. “There’s going to be one day, 15 or 20 years down the road, when they’re going to see that name and be like ‘Who’s that?’ and see the history of it. That’s the thing that makes you proud.”

Although Donald’s impact will always be felt thanks to his donation, more recently he had been making a more direct impact. This season was the first offseason in two years that two time NFL Defensive Player of the Year was not working out with the Pitt football team.

Now that he has signed his new six-year $135 million contract with the Rams, Donald was back spending his offseason in Los Angeles and has been present at training camp.

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