2017 NFL Draft

T.J. McDonald, FS

School: Southern California  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Fresno, CA
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 219 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
Career Notes
He had 275 tackles, including 12 for losses, and 8 interceptions in his career. He had 36 career starts.
2012 Season
The hard-hitting McDonald, who like his father earned All-American honors at USC, started for his third season at free safety as a senior in 2012. Overall in 2012 while starting all 13 games, he had a team-best 112 tackles, including 6.5 for losses of 19 yards (with a 1-yard sack), 3 deflections, 2 interceptions and a blocked field goal, plus 1 kickoff return for 2 yards (2.0 avg.). His 112 tackles in 2012 were the most by a Trojan since Troy Polamalu's 118 in 2001. He and Hayes Pullard became the first pair of Trojans with 100-plus tackles in a season since Sammy Knight (121) and Chris Claiborne (116) in 1996 (it was also the first time since Lofa Tatupu in 2004 that any Trojan had at least 100 tackles).

Was among 15 semifinalists for the 2012 Thorpe Award and 20 quarterfinalists for the 2012 Lott Trophy. He made 2012 SI.com All-American honorable mention, All-Pac-12 second team, Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team and CollegeFootballNews.com All-Pac-12 first team. He was USC's 11th 2-time Trojan captain and joined his father, Tim McDonald (USC's captain in 1986), as the only father-son captains in Trojan history. He was voted USC's Most Inspirational Player and was named the Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year. He was a Senior Bowl invitee.

He had 5 tackles (2 for a loss) with a deflection against Hawaii, added 6 stops against Syracuse, had 9 tackles and blocked a field goal attempt at Stanford and had 9 tackles, an interception and a deflection against California. He had a team-high 9 tackles at Utah, 9 tackles (including 1 for a loss) at Washington, 6 tackles at Colorado, a game-best 13 tackles (1.5 for losses) at Arizona and 10 tackles (0.5 for a loss) against Oregon. He had 7 tackles, an interception and returned a short kickoff 2 yards against Arizona State, 6 tackles (with a sack) and a deflection at UCLA and 10 tackles (0.5 for a loss) versus Notre Dame. He had 13 tackles against Georgia Tech.

2011 Season
McDonald started for his second season at free safety as a junior in 2011 and had an outstanding season. Overall in 2011 while appearing in all 12 (he started all but the Colorado game), he had 67 tackles (third on USC), including 2.5 for losses, a team-high 3 interceptions, 2 deflections, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt.

He was one of 15 semifinalists for the 2011 Thorpe Award and one of 20 quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. He made the 2011 Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly All-American first team (joining his father, Tim, as the first father-son All-American first teamers in USC history), the SI.com All-American second team and the Phil Steele All-American third team.He made the 2011 All-Pac-12 first team. He made the 2011 ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team. He won USC's 2011 Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year Award. He was a USC captain (joining his father, Tim, as the first father-son captains in Trojan history).

He had a team-best 8 tackles against Minnesota, then had 2 stops and a fumble recovery (to set up a USC TD) against Utah and 5 tackles against Syracuse. He had 6 tackles at Arizona State and then he had a pair of first quarter interceptions against Arizona (the first ended Nick Foles' streak of 210 passes without a pick dating to 2010) and he also had 6 tackles and a deflection to earn Lott IMPACT Trophy National Player of the Week and Thorpe Award National Defensive Back of the Week. He made 2 tackles (0.5 for a loss) at California, 5 tackles at Notre Dame and 5 tackles against Stanford (1 for a loss). He had 4 tackles while playing only the second half at Colorado (he was suspended for the first half by the Pac-12 for a hit in the Stanford game). He had 6 tackles against Washington and 8 tackles and blocked a punt at Oregon. Against UCLA, he had a game-best 10 tackles and had an interception (in the end zone with the Bruins threatening in the red zone) that he returned 25 yards and a deflection.

2010 Season
McDonald was USC's starting free safety as a sophomore in 2010 and had an outstanding showing. Overall in 2010 while starting 12 games (he missed the UCLA game with a shoulder injury), he had a team-high 89 tackles, including 3 for losses (with a sack), plus 4 deflections, 3 interceptions and a blocked punt. He made the 2010 All-Pac-10 second team, Scout.com All-Pac-10 first team and Phil Steele All-Pac-10 first team. He had surgery on his ankle prior to 2010 spring practice.

He had 4 stops with a deflection at Hawaii, then a game-best 14 tackles with an interception (in the end zone) and a deflection against Virginia, 7 tackles (with a sack) at Minnesota, 6 tackles (1 for a loss) and an interception that he ran back 20 yards at Washington State and a game-best 11 tackles against Washington. He added 4 tackles at Stanford, 3 tackles and an interception (to set up a USC TD) against California and 6 tackles (1 for a loss) and a deflection against Oregon.

He had a game-high 13 tackles and blocked a punt (he also partially blocked another punt and downed a punt at the ASU 4-yard line) against Arizona State to earn Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors, a game-high 10 tackles against Arizona and a team-best 10 tackles with a deflection at Oregon State. He had a tackle against Notre Dame before spraining his shoulder early in the game (and sidelining him for the season finale at UCLA).

2009 Season
McDonald saw limited action as a backup strong safety and played on special teams as a first-year freshman in 2009. Overall in 2009 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 7 tackles. He had 3 tackles against San Jose State and then 1 tackle each against Washington State, California, Notre Dame and Arizona State.
High School
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Scout.com All-American first team, ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Sporting News Top 100, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, All-CIF Central Section, Fresno Bee All-Star and All-County/Metro Athletic Conference Defensive MVP as a senior who played safety, linebacker, defensive end, fullback, tight end and wide receiver at Edison High in Fresno (Calif.). He had 87 tackles and 3 interceptions in 2008.

As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, All-CIF Central Section and Fresno Bee All-Star. His father, Tim, was the head coach at Edison.

He's a communication major at USC. His father, Tim, was a 2-time (1985-86) All-American and 4-year (1983-86) letterman safety at USC, where he was named the team MVP his final 2 seasons, was Troy's 1986 captain and helped the Trojans to a victory in the 1985 Rose Bowl, and then played 13 years in the NFL as an All-Pro/Pro Bowler with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1987-92) and San Francisco 49ers (1993-99), including on the 49ers' 1994 team that won the Super Bowl.

His brother, Tevin, is a sophomore cornerback at UCLA. His initials stand for Tim Jr. He and 15 of his USC teammates spent 5 days in Haiti in the spring of 2012 building homes and assisting those in need.


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