|Aaron Donald Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 1 in|
|Date of Birth||May 23, 1991|
Aaron Donald is an American professional football player, best known as one of the greatest interior defensive linemen of all time, playing for the St. Luis/Los Angeles Rams in the NFL (National Football League) starting in 2014. He started his career at the college football level for Pittsburgh Panthers while attending the University of Pittsburgh where he was also unanimously recognized as an All-American or an outstanding amateur player. For that reason, Aaron was chosen as the 13th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft and started playing in the defensive tackle position. By the end of the year, he was named NFL “Defensive Rookie of the Year”. In the 2015 season, he was named NFC “Defensive Player of the Week” 2 times and made 69 tackles and 11 sacks in 16 games he started. By the end of the season, Aaron was also at number 14 on the NFL “Top 100 Players of 2016” list. Despite being fined for unsportsmanlike conduct towards a referee in the 2016-2017 season, he managed to win the NFC “Defensive Player of the Week” for the 3rd time in his career, and was ranked at number 15 on the NFL “Top 100 Players of 2017”.
During the 2017-2018 season, which didn’t start off great due to his Los Angeles Rams 5-year contract dispute, Aaron was still named to his 4th-straight Pro Bowl, and won his 1st NFL “Defensive Player of the Year” title, with 41 tackles, 11 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles. The season 2018-2019 was his career-best, as Aaron 1st signed a $135 6-year extension on his contract with Los Angeles Rams. The contract made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, and also the 1st ever non-quarterback that averaged a salary of more than $20 million annually. In addition, Aaron was also named NFL’s “Defensive Player of the Year” in February 2019 for the 2nd time. Furthermore, his peers named him number 1 on the list of NFL “Top 100 Players of 2019.” He has also amassed a social media fanbase with more than 600k followers on Instagram and more than 100k followers on Twitter.
Aaron Charles Donald
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
- Los Angeles, California, United States
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Aaron Donald attended Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. He then enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, and studied communications.
Professional Football Player
- Father – Archie Sr. Donald (Former Football Player for the Norfolk State Spartans)
- Mother – Anita Goggins
- Siblings – Akita Donald (Sister), Archie Jr. Donald (Older Brother) (Former Professional Football Player, Linebacker for the University of Toledo team, Retired in 2012)
Aaron Donald is represented by Creative Artists Agency (Talent Agent) in the United States.
- 97 – Pittsburgh Panthers
- 99 – Los Angeles Rams
6 ft 1 in or 185.5 cm
127 kg or 280 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Aaron Donald has dated –
- Jaelynn Blakey – Aaron has kept the details about his family away from the spotlight for the most part. However, it was revealed that both he and Jaelynn attended Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, which is where they fell in love. They have 2 kids together, daughter Jaeda Donald (b. April 2013), and a son named Aaron Jr. Donald (b. April 6, 2016). On social media, Jaelynn often joked about the resemblance of their son to his dad, which his fanbase agreed on. For Halloween 2016, the whole family dressed as the family from the animated movie The Incredibles (2004). On social media, his children have often been pictured sitting in the audience and cheering him on, and his daughter Jaeda even led her kindergarten class in a cheer for her dad on January 31, 2019.
Race / Ethnicity
He has African-American ancestry.
- Towering height
- Wide nose tip
Aaron Donald has endorsed brands such as –
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Nike (2019)
- Electronic Arts Madden20 NFL (2019)
- Biondi Lincoln Dealership (2019)
- Gentleman’s Playbook (2019)
Best Known For
- Being named NFL “Defensive Rookie of the Year” in 2014, the same year he made his professional debut
- His selection for Pro Bowl for 5 years straight, between 2014 and 2018, as part of Los Angeles Rams
- Being named NFL “Defensive Player of the Year” 2 years back-to-back, in 2017 and 2018
- Being ranked at number 1 in the NFL “Top 100 Players of 2019” list
First Football Match
Aaron Donald made his NFL debut on September 7, 2014, in a match against Minnesota Vikings, and scored 4 tackles, even though his team lost with a score of 34-6.
First TV Show
Apart from the broadcast of his football matches, he made his TV show debut as ‘Himself’ on Sunday NFL Countdown in 2019.
Aaron admitted he was lazy as a kid. His dad who was a former football player that unfortunately suffered a knee joint injury that ended his career introduced him to strength training at the age of 12. The family had a basement gym installed in their home, and by the age of 14, Aaron was always up at 4:30 AM and worked out for 2 hours in the morning, supervised by his dad. During high school, he was trained by head coach Ron Graham and started out as an offensive guard before switching to defensive tackle at college.
During the active NFL season, Aaron works on his speed, agility, and explosiveness so that he can be quick on his feet, but also strong enough as a lineman. While he does train for strength at all times, the off-season is where he undergoes a heavyweight bodybuilding training, intended pack as much size as possible. He does a lot of bench press, squats, deadlifts, and chest press on the bench, as well as biceps curls with very heavy dumbbells.
In July 2019, Aaron also included self-defense and martial arts training after he was coached by DeMarcus Ware, as well as short-distance sprinting with an elastic band and a workout partner providing heavy resistance. He typically trains at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, United States. The facility is known for training and hosting athlete camps for sportsmen such as Kobe Bryant, Anthony Davis, Isaiah Thomas, and others.
While there, Aaron also practices throwing a heavy medicine ball for distance. He also trains at the 2Tenths Speed & Agility Camp, where he also hosts camps of his own for the kids of his community and rookie football players. At the University of Pittsburgh that he attended, in honor of his achievements, Aaron was awarded his own part of the building, named “Pitt Aaron Donald Football Performance Center” which he visits during the off-season. In addition, despite being at a weight of 127 kg or 280 lbs, Aaron has been praised for his unbelievable footwork speed, which, when witnessed, seems impossible for a man of his size.
Aaron Donald Facts
- Growing up, he and his older brother shared bunk beds and talked about helping their working-class parents retire. In 2014, at the start of his professional career, Aaron bought his dad a used truck. In 2018, he purchased a $40k Rolex watch as a birthday gift.
- Aaron’s entire family still lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, as they feel comfortable there. He uses every opportunity he gets to go back to his hometown, especially during the NFL off-season.
- During his college football days, he received a Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, and Outland Trophy in 2013.
- Despite having football scholarship offers from universities of Toledo, Rutgers, and Akron, he committed to his hometown’s one, University of Pittsburgh.
- Aaron was the 1st Los Angeles Rams‘ rookie to be selected for Pro Bowl since the player named Jerome Bettis, who achieved the same feat back in 1993.
- In 2014, Aaron attended NFL Combine, a once-a-year special event that connects rookies with managers, scouts, and directors through a series of mental and physical tests. While there, he broke the record for the fastest 40-yard dash time for a defensive tackle with a 4.68. The previous record was set back in 2004 by Tank Johnson who ran a 4.69.
- He owns a sizable luxury car collection.
- In 2019, after he signed a new contract with Los Angeles Rams, Aaron set up retirement funds for both of his parents, who had gotten divorced by that point. It was the realization of his life-long dream of making it possible for them to never work again in their lives. Additionally, he bought them both houses of their choosing. Aaron and his brother also asked their dad not to sell their original home which had a basement gym where it all started for him.
- Aaron made a 7-figure donation to the Pitt Football Championship Fund of the University of Pittsburgh and became the youngest donor in the history of the university to do so.
- In 2019, his mom and friends who knew him from before stated that he’s the same Aaron in 2019 as the Aaron they knew all of their lives. They added that money and fame haven’t changed him at all.
- In early August 2019, many well-known football players were asked the question: “Why is Aaron Donald the best in the NFL?” The answers ranged from his disruptive game, explosion off the ball, and his run game, all the way to using “cheat codes” and “no one has figured out yet how to block him”.
- Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Featured Image by Aaron Donald / Instagram