Name: John McDonald
School: Tarleton State University
What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
Coming off of entering the portal, my goals were to get picked up by a team that best fits me no matter what division. Another goal of mines was to be a part of a Winning Season, Also was to make all conference rather that was in all purpose yards with special teams or just by running the ball. I take pride in every chance I get to touch the ball. And I accomplished all goals, I was a member of the Tarleton State University football program, we went 6-5 on the season, and I made 1st-Team All-Conference as a Running Back.
Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?
I took full advantage of this extra year. For one I’m getting my masters degree in children and family studies, and for two, I went to a school where the coaching staff was big on knowing your assignment and not just your job but all 11-guys on the field to get full perspective of the play and How it should be ran in front of different defensive fronts and zones. Jonathan Beasley my RB coach who was also a phenomenal QB at Kansas State and was also the cotton bowl MVP in the past. Made it clear every film session and meeting to break down the offense play by play, and that alone made me a better football player mentally and not just physically. Which I have never had before.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
Definitely would say I’m a passionate player, I work hard and I’m all business. I’m a great teammate, one of those it’s bigger then football type of players. Determined, Tough, and every play rather it’s practice or in a game. You will get 100% effort out of me. A real Leader. Also would speak on my work ethic, I live in the true reality of never being satisfied, always more work to be done.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game? -when I watch film, I constantly look for a weakness in the defensive fronts that I can take advantage of with my strengths. Study individual tendencies from individual defenders that may give me a edge on a defense. I also study my offensive line for 2 things. 1. knowing who they working to rather it’s a double team then climb to the second level or pulling timing and being able to read the kick out/reach blocks. 2. Pass protection and get out on routes, being able to know what my oline is doing and who they got will help me pick up any blitz or late trigger rushers, and being able to know when I can get out and be a check down for the QB because just like picking up a block, it’s just as important to get out when you need to be a extra guy for your QB.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
The main things that separate me is my speed, my work ethic, and me just being a fearless and tough running back mentally and physically. Me being a track guy, and being elite at that sets me aside from others in my position, it don’t matter who they are. Line them up and I’ll knock them down one at a time. And I take pride in being the hardest and smartest worker in the room. I push limits and I’m ALWAYS willing to go the extra mile to make me better and to make me different.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
My off-season training has consisted on Speed, agility, and catching. I’ve been working on being a stronger individual. Also working on being fundamentally sound, and efficient with everything I do. I plan on being a wold shocker when it comes to my 40 and display of speed and agility.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
Being Faster than majority of everyone on the field, I feel as if every team is in look of and want a fast twitchy player like myself. I tend to think I am a different breed, with my speed, my work ethic, my tendency to always do the right thing and make smart decisions. I’ve been homeless, I’ve been hungry, and I’ve been as others might put it at “rock bottom” not all due to me but from decisions on my life before I was able to make those decisions on my own. I love the game but I also love my family and myself enough to never jeopardize nor be a conflict for anyone. I’m not a talker, I’m a walker. I lead by example and I’m versatile, I can play running back, block kicks, return kicks and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Life is more then just football, outside of it I am me I live my life and one thing I will always take pride in is when someone say my name. They will speak highly of me and never have anything negative to say rather I’m in they face or not.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
I’m just a man who has been fighting with his back against the wall his whole life and god has continued to hold me and mold me everyday. No matter how many times I’ve been knocked down, God has picked me up, no matter how much it hurt, god has Pulled me through, no matter how many times I’m told no ,God has the final say so and I will work like no other until he blesses me with that 1 yes. And that’s all I need here in my life once again, an opportunity and I will forever be grateful to any team in any league that is willing to take that chance on me. See I wasn’t even supposed to make it to see 18 nor graduate high school, and here I am 25 with a AA degree, a bachelors degree, and now a masters degree in reach. I NEED to TURN my dreams into REALITY, stay true to myself and give my family, and all the young kids who look up to me and believe in me inspiration, That no matter what you go through in life you don’t give up and you keep fighting until you get what you’ve been praying for, working for, crying for, and hurting for. You can accomplish anything you put your mind too. Because at the end of the day yes it’s my life that I’m living, but I’m also living my life to help open doors for my loved ones, and also the other people young and old where I’m from, who struggle to understand that it’s more to life then hardships and being unsuccessful. A wise man once said, “you can’t change the world until you change yourself” so it all starts with me in my eyes. So Take the risk, and I can guarantee once you meet me and talk with me and watch me work, you’ll feel the same way.