Aaron Donald is a talented player, who plays the defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League NFL. This footballer has stacked many recognitions in his career. Noted for his agility and feared for his tenacity to put up a strong defence, Aaron is one to give you a hard time in the field. Here is more about his biography facts, childhood, career and personal life.
Aaron Donald’s Biography Facts
|Full Name:||Aaron Charles Donald|
|Born:||May 23, 1991 (age 28 years)|
|Place of Birth:||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Occupation:||American Football Player|
|Current Team:||Los Angeles Rams|
|Net Worth:||$40 million|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (185cm)|
|Education:||Penn Hills High School; University of Pittsburgh|
|Parents:||Archi Donald (father); Anita Goggins (mother)|
|Siblings:||Archie Donald Jr.; Akita Donald|
|Partner:||Jaelynn Blakey (girlfriend)|
|Children:||Jeada (b. 2013); Aaron Junior (b. 2016)|
Aaron Donald’s Childhood & Early Life
Aaron was born into a working-class family on the 23rd of May 1991. He has two more siblings and were raised by his parents, His Father, Archie who was formerly a football player in college, had the dream of being drafted into the NFL but had to retire due to injuries sustained. A fractured patella ended his dreams.
This made his father begin training Aaron seriously right from the tender age of 12 on strength and endurance training. Every day they wake up at 4:30 am to prepare in their basement, which he converted into a mini gym. Soon after, Aaron began to play with more passion and developed interest as he joined his high school football team, the Penn Hills Highschool in Pittsburgh.
Throughout his Highschool, he showed great talent and amazing skills, and soon, he won several awards. At the end of high school, he was awarded several different scholarships from several different Colleges like the University of Toledo, That of Akron and the Pittsburgh University. Aaron, however, decided to remain at home and accepted the offer from the University of Pittsburgh, to play the position of the defensive end for the Panthers.
Aaron Donald’s College Career (2010–2013)
In the season of 2010 in his first year, Donald started his career as a substitute defensive tackle and didn’t feature in many games. By the year 2011 however, He was no longer a substitute, but the team’s leading defensive tackle.
He had 47 tackles that year, 16 loss, 11 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. In his Junior year, his tackles rose to 64 tackles, 18.5 loss and 1 forced fumble. These incredible stats has set him up in his college career, and in his senior year, he had recorded 59 tackles, 28 losses, and 4 forced fumbles. His outstanding performance led him to receive various awards, including the award for the best defensive player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA, a Unanimous All-American and ACC defensive player of the year.
He finished college and was drafted into the NFL as the 13th overall pick of the first round of the 2014 NFL selection. The St Louis Rams selected him for a four-year rookie contract that could be extended to the fifth year. A $10.16 million deal with a $5.69 million signing bonus.
Aaron Donald’s Professional Career
Los Angeles Rams (2014–date)
It no longer came as a surprise to anyone who was following Donald’s career closely when they saw his zest for football, and he was soon gearing up to be the best defensive tackle in the NFL.
He made his first NFL debut in the 7th of September 2014 against the Minnesota Vikings. The game finished with a loss but he made four tackles. Other games soon followed, and he displayed his skills. After the 2014 season, he was named the NFL All-Rookie Team; he won the Rookie defensive player of the year award. Donald became the Rams defensive starter in the 2015 season, and His first game was against the Seattle Seahawks. He became the NFC Defensive Player of the week twice in the 2015 season.
He was fined severally for unlawful conduct and unsportsmanlike behaviour in his 2016 season. Notwithstanding, Donald was still awarded The NCC Defensive player of the week twice. The 2017 season ended with the Rams extending his rookie contract to the fifth year.
He made his first Superbowl appearance in 2018 in the Superbowl LIII with his team but lost to the New England Patriots 13-3. The Rams renewed his contract for a 6-year, $139 million extensions with $89 million guaranteed, making him the second-highest-paid defensive tackle player in the History of the NFL after Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears who signed a contract of $141million.
On the 4th of January, 2019, he was named the AP All-Pro First Team, and by February, Donald was named the NFL defensive player of the year.
Aaron Donald’s Personal Life
Aaron Donald is not yet married, but he has been in a relationship with his girlfriend Jaelynn Blakey for several years, and the couple has two children together, Jeada and Aaron Junior. The couple has been sweethearts since Pittsburgh High School, where they both attended and have been together ever since. In April 2013, Jeada was born, and after three years Aaron Jnr was born on the 6th of April, 2016.
Aaron is from a close-knit family, and he enjoys spending time with his parents and siblings. He bought his father a truck after he won the Rookie of the year award in 2014, his father was so ecstatic that he could be seen celebrating on video. His family is a natural supporter of the Steelers, as they were all raised in Pittsburgh; however, they still support Aaron and the Rams anytime he is playing even against the Steelers.
Donald has an elder brother Archie Jnr who played football for Toledo but retired in 2012.
Aaron Donald’s Trivia
- Donald used to weigh far more than his 128kg but has had to lose some weight after he was drafted into the NFL. However, He still maintains that no matter what he weighs, he would always “do his thing.”
- Aaron is very generous to his family members and friends; he has recently bought his father a $40,000 Rolex watch.
- He is recorded as the 10th highest paid footballer in the history of the NFL.
Aaron Donald Highlights, Achievements & Awards
- Pro Bowl (2014–2018)
- First-team All-Pro (2015–2018)
- NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2017, 2018)
- NFL sacks leader (2018)
- NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2014)
- PFWA All-Rookie Team (2014)
- ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2013)
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (2013)
- Chuck Bednarik Award (2013)
- Lombardi Award (2013)
- Outland Trophy (2013)
- Unanimous All-American (2013)
- First-team All-ACC (2013)
- First-team All-Big East (2012)
- Second-team All-Big East (2011)
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