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Pitt Well-Represented on Senior Bowl 75th Anniversary Team



Pitt quarterback Dan Marino.

The Senior Bowl is one of the preeminent All-Star games for NFL hopefuls each season, giving college football stars a chance to shine for NFL coaches and front office members, and Pitt has been well-represented throughout the years.

The Senior Bowl named its 75th Anniversary Team Tuesday, and three Pitt Panthers made the cut. Dan Marino, Curtis Martin and Aaron Donald, who all starred at Pitt before going onto exceptional NFL careers, all made the team.

“The history of our game means everything to us here at the Senior Bowl, so this is a special announcement,” Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said in the release. “This 75th Anniversary Team includes many of the greatest players in NFL history and they are all legendary players for their respective franchises.

“We look forward to bringing these all-time greats back to where their NFL journeys started, the city of Mobile, Alabama. The Senior Bowl is grateful for our partners at the NFLPA for helping to make this celebration happen.”

The entire team can be found here.

Marino is perhaps the best NFL player to never win the Super Bowl, and the Central Catholic alum got his start in Pittsburgh.

Pitt lost just six games during Marino’s four-year Pitt career, completing 626-of-1,084 pass attempts (57.7%) for 7,905 yards with 74 touchdowns and 64 interceptions — winnning the Fiesta Bowl, Gator Bowl and Sugar Bowl in that span.

The Miami Dolphins selected Marino with the 27th pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, and he owned held a plethora of quarterback records by the time he retired following the 1999 season.

In 17 NFL seasons, Marino completed 4,967-of-8,358 pass attempts (59.4%) for 61,361 yards with 420 touchdowns and 252 interceptions. He won 147 of 240 NFL starts, leading 47 game-winning drives, but he never was able to win the big game during his career — falling to Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers as a second-year player in 1985.

Marino’s 1984 season, throwing for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns, was a season way ahead of its time in that era of the NFL.

He was enrished into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, following a career in which he was a three-time All-Pro, two-time Offensive Player of the Year and 1984 MVP.

Martin, who attended Allderice in Pittsburgh, also decided to stay home at Pitt. And in four seasons, missing most of his senior seaosn due to injury, he racked up 518 carries for 2,643 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns — adding 89 receptions for 749 yards and two more touchdowns.

The senior season injury, starting off the season with nearly 300 yards in two games, was a dissapointment, but he was still selected in the third round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. And he started fast.

Martin ran for 1,487 yards and 14 touchdowns as a rookie, earning Rookie of the Year honors and starting off a Hall of Fame career on a high note. In 11 seasons, he ran for 14,101 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and 90 touchdowns — adding 3,329 receiving yards and 10 more touchdowns through the air.

He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021, currently ranked as the NFL’s sixth-leading rusher all-time.

Donald, just a three-star recruit himself out of Penn Hills in the class of 2010, has done pretty well for himself since leaving Pittsburgh. And, of course, he didn’t leave Pittsburgh until he earned All-Big East and All-American honors at Pitt first. He racked up 181 tackles (115 solo), 66 tackles for loss, 29.5 sacks, forced six fumbles and defended 10 passes during his career in Pittsburgh.

And his senior campaign of 59 tackles (43 solo), 28.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, four forced fumbles and three passes defended rounded out one of the best defensive efforts in Pitt — and college football — history.

Donald, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, improved to even greater heights following his Pitt career, and he’s in the midst of his 10th NFL season with the Rams — still one of the very best defensive players in the NFL.

In nine-and-a-half seasons, he’s tacked up 527 tackles (331 solo), 171 tackles for loss, 108.5 sacks, 24 forced fumbles and seven recoveries and 18 pass breakups — cementing himself as one of the greats at just 32.

Prior to last season, Donald had earned seven consecutive first-team All-Pro honors — setting himself apart from his peers. And he’s once again in the midst of an All-Pro caliber season in 2023. And he will joins his fellow Pitt legends in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the conclusion of his NFL career.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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11 hours ago

Oh, how much I miss the good ole days…

8 hours ago
Reply to  Giovanni


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