03/29/2013 - 2013 USC Pro Day: While the hype centered around the "skill position" players Wednesday, the big winner may have been safety, T.J. McDonald, who drew praise from Kansas City Chiefs' scout and defensive backs' coach Drae Harris, who, along with Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive backs coach Carnell Lake, put USC's cornerbacks and safety through extended drills.
"[McDonald] is an explosive athlete who is quickly able to take what we were asking him to do and apply it to the field. He's so explosive out of his cuts and covers such ground." McDonald, who measured in at 6-3, 213 pounds, led each of the defensive back drills. He caught every pass thrown to him, consistently using his height to his advantage by extending far beyond his frame to secure the ball. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
12/31/2012 - Scouting the USC pass defense: One of the problems for USC has been the cornerback spot opposite Nickell Robey, but that might not be a major issue against a team that averages only 14 passes per game. Free safety T.J. McDonald won't mind creeping closer to the line of scrimmage to make some hits in the run game. Like the other triple-option teams, though, Georgia Tech will make the secondary pay for getting too itchy to play the run. The Yellow Jackets average a stunning 20 yards per completion. - The Sports Xchange
11/30/2012 - 2012 ALL-PAC-12 SECOND-TEAM: DB T.J. McDonald, Sr., USC...has been selected Second Team All-Pac-12 for the 2012 college football season. - USC football
11/17/2012 - Five Prospects To Watch in Week 12: T.J. McDonald, FS, Southern Cal: McDonald and his Trojans face crosstown rival UCLA in what could be one of the more entertaining rivalry games of the season. "Entertaining" certainly wouldn't describe this contest a year ago (unless you are a Trojans fan) as USC dominated the Bruins 50-0. This time around, however, it is UCLA who enters the game ranked higher and hoping to break a string of 13 losses in 14 games to Southern Cal. There are plenty of individual matchups in this contest that scouts will be looking at but one I'm particularly intrigued by is McDonald facing Bruins' senior tight end Joseph Fauria, who leads the country in receiving touchdowns from the position with nine scores.
McDonald has proven himself to a physical force against run, demonstrating the same acceleration downhill and big hitting that helped Taylor Mays become a star. McDonald is more fluid than his former teammate, however, and therefore should be in better position to help USC defend the 6-7, 255 pound Fauria, while also defending UCLA's bread and butter running game that is averaging nearly 210 yards per contest. This game begins at 3:05 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
09/03/2012 - WEEK 1 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY NOTABLE PERFORMANCE: T.J. McDonald, USC. Contributed 2 tackles for loss, 5 total tackles and broke up one pass in 49-10 win over Hawaii. - Lott IMPACT Trophy
07/26/2012 - Top-five USC prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 3. FS T.J. McDonald...Stardom had long been predicted for McDonald long before he ever signed with USC. In fact, it was a surprise to some that the son of former San Francisco 49er Pro Bowl safety Tim McDonald didn't make an immediate impact upon signing with the Trojans. Like most football players at USC, T.J (which, of course, stands for Tim, Jr.) saw limited time as a true freshman. Whereas most athletes are forced to take a redshirt season to acclimate to the increased speed and physicality of FBS football, however, T.J. saw action in every one of USC's 13 games in 2009 as a backup strong safety and special teams performer. He quickly rose up to a starter at free safety in year two, leading the team with 89 tackles, while also contributing three tackles for loss, a sack, seven passes broken up, three interceptions and a blocked kick. Though his statistics (67 tackles, 2.5 TFL, five PBUs, three INTs) didn't blossom in his second season as a starter, McDonald proved to be a more consistent all-around defender, leading to speculation that he could develop into one of the elite defenders in the entire country in 2012. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
07/26/2012 - Top-five USC prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 3. FS T.J. McDonald...The physical and mental traits necessary to make those gains appear to be in place for McDonald to make that ascension in 2012. He certainly boasts the combination of size, speed, overall athleticism, hitting ability and ball skills that every NFL team is looking for. Because of his imposing frame and hitting ability, McDonald has often been compared to the highly touted safety he replaced at USC - Taylor Mays. While McDonald is not the elite straight-line speed athlete that Mays is, nor is he as stiff in coverage, which is among the reasons why he'll ultimately earn a higher pick in the NFL draft than his former teammate. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
07/20/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WATCH LIST: T.J. McDonald, senior, DB, USC, has been named one of of fifty preseason "players to watch" for The Walter Camp Football Foundation 2012 Player of the Year Award, the nation's fourth-oldest individual college football accolade. - The Walter Camp Football Foundation
07/18/2012 - 2012 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: T.J. McDonald, S, USC, has been selected to the Preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented to the National Defensive Player of the Year by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America. - The Charlotte Touchdown Club
07/18/2012 - 2012 JIM THORPE AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: T.J. McDonald, Southern California S, Sr., has been selected to the Preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented to the best defensive back in college football by the Jim Thorpe Association. - The Jim Thorpe Association
07/10/2012 - 2012 BEDNARIK AWARD PRESEASON WATCHLIST: T.J. McDonald, USC, S, Sr., has been selected to the preseason Bednarik Award watchlist for the 2012 college football season. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the nation's top defensive player since 1995. A former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chuck Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 1969 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of 1967. - The Maxwell Football Club
05/07/2012 - 2012 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: T.J. McDonald, USC, S, 6-3, 205 (Fresno): Two-time Trojan captain...All-Pac 12 performer, 1st team (Sporting News) All-American...Son of former USC All-American Tim McDonald...First Father-Son combination in USC history to be All-Americans and team captains...163 career tackles, 6 interceptions...Semi-finalist for Thorpe Award last season and quarter-finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. - Lott IMPACT Trophy
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