Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By JOHN WILKERSON  |  Last updated 9/12/13
PITTSBURGH -- Aaron Donald is Pittsburgh to the core. The senior defensive tackle Donald grew up in the city, attended Penn Hills high school then moved on to Pitt, where hes built a reputation as a solid defender. Like most children from the Steel City, where the Steelers are part of the citys identity, Donald bleeds black and gold. But he has a privilege most Steelers fans would covet, the opportunity to interact with the team on a daily basis. "Its a great experience to share the same facility with the Steelers," Donald said. Its not uncommon for NFL teams to share their home stadiums with the local university but an NFL team taking the next step and sharing their facility is unprecedented. The Steelers and Panthers share the state-of-the-art UMPC Sports Performance Complex, which is located on the shores of the Monongahela River, and is the only complex that houses training and practice facilities for an NFL franchise and a major college football program. "We share our indoor facility, said Pitt coach Paul Chryst. "One end zone has Steelers, one end zone has Pitt. We have four practice fields behind our building: two for the Steelers, two are ours." While the 100,000-square foot facility is split in half, the teams share one common area: the cafeteria. "We get to eat lunch with those guys and just sit down in the same cafeteria," Donald said. "Sometimes we get the opportunity to step out on the field and watch them practice" "(The Steelers) dont make you feel like second class citizens." Chryst said. "You truly fell like youre sharing a building, youre in partnership with them and thats a heck of a partnership to be in." Donald is on the radar screen of NFL scouts and might hear his name called next April at the 2014 NFL draft and if the Steelers should happen to choose him, the team will comforted that he already knows his way around. Donald would just have to enter through another door.
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