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T.J. McDonald, FS, USC Trojans: 2013 NFL Draft Player Profile


Nov 3, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans safety T.J. McDonald (7) during the game against the Oregon Ducks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Oregon defeated USC 62-51. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 219 pounds

Drafted By: St. Louis Rams (3rd round, 71st overall)

40 Yard Dash: 4.59

Bench Press: 19

Vertical Jump: 40″

Broad Jump: 131″

2012 Stats

Tackles For Loss
GSacksSack YardsSacks/G

Career Highlights (via USC athletics site)

CAREER: He has 163 tackles, including 5.5 for losses, and 6 interceptions in his career. He has 23 career starts.

2012: The hard-hitting McDonald, a Thorpe Award and Lott Trophy candidate who like his father has earned All-American honors at USC, returns for his third season as the starting free safety as a senior in 2012.

2011: 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: 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: 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.

Scouting Report/Player Notes

All-American safety who returns for his senior year after potentially entering the 2012 draft and being a first round pick. He is a pre-season Thorpe Award watch list candidate and is one of the best defensive backs in the entire class of 2013. He is a really good size/speed combination guy, and is really good at diagnosing plays. He has six interceptions over the last couple of years and is continually getting better at playing the ball in the air. Has the ability to hit like a ton of bricks. Good football bloodline as his father was a captain and All-American at USC. McDonald was also a captain of USC’s football team last year, and likely will be in the same role in 2012. Really good working downhill, and will continue to get better playing in a downhill role.

Video Highlights (via YouTube)