TIMOTHY “T.J.” McDONALD, JR.

Free/Strong Safety

University of Southern California Trojans

#7

6:02.4-219

Fresno, California

Edison High School

 

OVERVIEW

You ever hear the saying, “like father, like son?” Well, in the McDonald household, that holds truer than most. T.J. has followed almost the same path as his father, Tim, at least on the gridiron. Both can claim to be All-American safeties that wore Trojans uniforms, as Tim was a first-team choice in 1986 while T.J. received that recognition in 2011.

 

When T.J. was selected team captain in 2011 (was again named in 2012, becoming USC’s eleventh two-time captain), he joined his father as the only father-son captains in Trojans history. Both played in prestigious all-star games to conclude their college careers, as Tim was a member of the 1986 East-West Shrine Game squad and T.J. just concluded an impressive performance at the 2013 Senior Bowl.

 

Tim was a two-time team Most Valuable Player (1985-86) and T.J. was selected the Trojans Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year in each of his final two seasons. Even when you look at their performance level, their similarities are striking. Tim closed out his career with 339 tackles, going over the century mark as a senior (140). His son amassed 275 tackles, also registering over 100 stops (112) in his final season.

 

Tim was credited with eleven pass thefts at Southern California, including two fumbled interceptions, along with recording ten stops-for-loss. T.J. registered eight thefts at USC and delivered twelve tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Tim played the game at 6:02, 209 pounds. His son checked into the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine at 6:02.4, 219. Like father, like son…

 

While his father’s team compiled a 26-20-1 record during his college career, T.J. enjoyed a bit more success, as the Trojans registered a 34-17 mark during his four seasons in the lineup. Both played with the same style and neither shied away from contact, evident by the boat-load of tackles both made during their days at USC.

 

Both father and son were born and raised in Fresno, California. Prior to becoming a Trojan, T.J. attended Edison High School, where his father served as his head coach.

Like his father, T.J. competed at several positions during his prep career, lining up at safety, linebacker, defensive end, fullback, tight end and wide receiver. As a junior in 2007, he made the Rivals.com Junior All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Under-class first team, All-CIF Central Section and Fresno Bee All-Star.

 

His 2008 honors included Super Prep, Prep Star and 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, Orange County Register Fab 15, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State, Golden State Preps All-Southern California and All-CIF Central Section.

 

T.J. added Fresno Bee All-Star and All-County/Metro Athletic Conference Defensive MVP honors as a senior. He finished that season recording 87 tackles and three interceptions in 2008. He received a five-star rating from Rivals.com, ranking as the second-best safety in the country while placing fourth on the Rivals California Top-100 team. He also received a five-star rating from Scout.com, as they also regarded him as the second-best safety nationally.

 

McDonald was limited to reserve safety duties as a freshman at Southern California in 2009. Most of his success came on special teams, as he finished the season seven tackles. He took over free safety chores full-time as a sophomore, earning All-Pac 10 Conference first-team honors with 89 tackles and three interceptions. He also blocked a punt that he recovered for a 24-yard gain in twelve contests, missing the UCLA tilt with a shoulder injury.

 

Named team captain as a junior, McDonald earned All-American honors in 2011. Serving as team captain, he registered 67 tackles with three interceptions while also blocking a kick. He added All-American recognition again in 2012, as he led the team for the second time in three seasons, recording 112 tackles with 6.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and two pass thefts in 2012.

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT T.J. McDONALD

Tony Pauline, SI.com: “The Trojans have a storied history of sending talented defensive backs into the NFL, and McDonald is next in line. His cover skills are good enough that he can be relied upon to play over the slot receiver, and he displays a large degree of toughness vs. the run. McDonald is easily the most complete next-level secondary prospect from USC since Troy Polamalu.”

 

Former NFL scout Dave Razzano: “One of the more talented safeties to come out of USC in the last decade, McDonald combines size, speed and aggressiveness to make his presence felt in every game he plays. He is a big time hitter who can create turnovers on his own with his aggressive style of play. He also displays the necessary speed/burst to come off the hash and break up plays downfield with very good timing and anticipation. He can go up and get the ball in compete situations due to his leaping ability. He shows up most in the run game as he is quick to react up field and stuff running lanes as he appears to relish the physical part of the game. The leader of the USC secondary comes to play each and every Saturday and will undoubtedly take his game to the next level in the future.”

 

Sporting News: “McDonald is a tall and linear player with the foot quickness to have sideline range in deep coverage. He has good ball skills and consistently shows the timing to break up passes and even block punts. He is willing to come up in run support and tackle well.”

 

CAREER NOTES

McDonald started 36-of-50 games at free safety during his Southern California career, recording 275 tackles (151 solos), two sacks for minus 18 yards and twelve stops for losses of 37 yards…Caused a fumble and blocked three kicks, advancing a blocked punt 24 yards…Deflected ten passes and intercepted eight others for 57 yards in returns.

 

2012 SEASON

The hard-hitting McDonald was among the semifinalists for the Thorpe Award and quarter-finalists for the Lott Trophy…Earned All-American second-team honors from The NFL Draft Report and was a Sports Illustrated honorable mention…Named All-Pac-12 Conference second-team by the league’s coaches and first-team by Phil Steele and College Football News…Became USC’s 11th two-time Trojan captain and joined his father, Tim McDonald (USC’s captain in 1986), as the only father-son captains in Trojan history…

Voted USC’s Most Inspirational Player and was named the Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year…The Senior Bowl invitee led the team and ranked fifth in the nation with a career-high 112 tackles (54 solos) that included a 10-yard sack and 6.5 stops for minus 19 yards, as he also registered a quarterback pressure…Blocked a kick for the third consecutive year and deflected three passes while also recording one interception…His 112 tackles in 2012 were the most by a Trojan since Troy Polamalu’s 118 in 2001…McDonald 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)…Had five tackles with two stops for a loss and a pass deflection vs. Hawaii…Added six stops vs. Syracuse and posted nine tackles and blocked a field goal attempt at Stanford…Delivered nine tackles, an interception and a deflection vs. California…Followed with a team-high nine tackles at Utah, producing nine more tackles (including one for a loss) at Washington…Registered a game-best 13 tackles (1.5 for losses) at Arizona and ten tackles (0.5 for a loss) vs. Oregon….Posted seven 7 tackles, an interception and returned a short kickoff 2 yards vs. Arizona State…Made six tackles (with a sack) and a pass deflection at UCLA…Recorded ten tackles (0.5 for a loss) vs. Notre Dame…Closed out his career with thirteen tackles vs. Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

 

2011 SEASON

McDonald started for his second season at free safety and had an outstanding season,

Was among the semifinalists for the Thorpe Award and received first-team All-American honors from Pro Football Weekly and the Sporting News, joining his father Tim (1986) as the first father-son team to earn first-team honors in school history…Added first-team All-Pac 10 Conference recognition…Named team captain, he was the recipient of the team’s Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year Award…Started twelve games at free safety, as he finished third on the team with 67 tackles (39 solos), adding 2.5 stops for minus 4 yards, a forced fumble, two pass break-ups, a pair of interceptions and a blocked kick…Made a team-best eight tackles vs. Minnesota, then had two stops and a fumble recovery that set up a USC touchdown drive vs. Utah…Added five tackles vs. Syracuse…Was in on six tackles at Arizona State, as he had a pair of first quarter interceptions vs. the Arizona (the first ended Nick Foles’ streak of 210 passes without a pick dating to 2010) and he also deflected a pass to earn Lott IMPACT Trophy National Player of the Week and Thorpe Award National Defensive Back of the Week honors…Posted five tackles in each of the Notre Dame and Stanford games…Produced eight tackles and blocked a punt at Oregon…

In the UCLA clash, he had a game-best ten tackles and had an interception in the end zone with the Bruins threatening in the red zone, that he returned 25 yards and a pass break-up.

 

2010 SEASON

McDonald was a second-team All-Pac 10 Conference pick, earning a starting position at free safety…Recorded a team-high 89 tackles (54 solos), adding an 8-yard sack and three stops for losses of 14 yards…Deflected five passes and intercepted three others for 20 yards in returns…Also blocked a punt that he advanced 24 yards vs. Arizona State, making thirteen tackles (10 solos) in that clash…Registered a game-best 14 tackles with an interception (in the end zone) and a deflection vs. Virginia…Followed with seven tackles and a sack at Minnesota…Posted six tackles (one for a loss) and an interception that he ran back 20 yards at Washington State and tallied a game-best eleven tackles vs. Washington…His interception vs. California set up a USC touchdown drive…Produced

13 tackles and blocked a punt (he also partially blocked another punt and downed a punt at the ASU 4-yard line) vs. Arizona State to earn Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors…Registered ten tackles vs. Arizona and had a team-best ten tackles with a pass deflection at Oregon State….Made just one tackle vs. Notre Dame before spraining his shoulder early in the game, 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…Overall while appearing in all thirteen games, he recorded seven tackles (4 solos), making a season-best three tackles vs. San Jose State and then had one stop in each of the Washington State, California, Notre Dame and Arizona State games.

 

 

 

INJURY REPORT

2010 Season…McDonald sat out spring drills and at the conclusion of camp, he underwent surgery to his ankle…Missed the UCLA game in 2010 after spraining his shoulder the week prior vs. Notre Dame.

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.59 in the 40-yard dash…1.58 10-yard dash…2.57 20-yard dash…4.20 20-yard shuttle…

6.89 three-cone drill…40-inch vertical jump…10’11” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times…32 ¼-inch arm length…8 7/8-inch hands…78 ¼-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

McDonald attended Edison (Fresno, Cal.) High School, playing football for his father, head coach Tim McDonald…Competed as a safety, linebacker, defensive end, fullback, tight end and wide receiver…As a junior in 2007, he made the Rivals.com Junior All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Under-class first team, All-CIF Central Section and Fresno Bee All-Star…His 2008 honors included Super Prep, Prep Star and 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, Orange County Register Fab 15, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State, Golden State Preps All-Southern California and All-CIF Central Section…

Added Fresno Bee All-Star and All-County/Metro Athletic Conference Defensive MVP honors as a senior…Finished that season recording 87 tackles and three interceptions in 2008…Received a five-star rating from Rivals.com, ranking as the second-best safety in the country while placing fourth on the Rivals California Top-100 team…Also received a five-star rating from Scout.com, as they also regarded him as the second-best safety nationally.

 

PERSONAL

Communications major…Father, Tim, served as his high school football coach and was a two-time (1985-86) All-American and four-year (1983-86) letterman safety at USC, where he was named the team MVP his final two seasons, was Troy’s 1986 captain and helped the Trojans to a victory in the 1985 Rose Bowl. He then played thirteen seasons 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…Tim and T.J. are the only father-son tandem to serve as team captains and earn All-American honors in the history of Southern California’s football program…T.J.’s brother, Tevin, is a sophomore cornerback at UCLA…His initials stand for Tim Jr…He and fifteen of his USC teammates spent five days in Haiti in the spring of 2012 building homes and assisting those in need…Born 1/26/91 in Fresno, California.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS GP GS TK SO AS FR FC INT TFL PBU SACK BK
2009 13 00 007 004 003  00  00  00 00.0-00   00  0.0-00  00
2010 12 12 089 054 035  00  00  03 03.0-14   05  1.0-08  01
2011 12 11 067 039 028  00  01  03 02.5-04   02  0.0-00  01
2012 13 13 122 054 058  00  00  02 06.5-19   03  1.0-10  01
TOTAL 50 36 275 151 124  00  01  08 12.0-37   10  2.0-18  03

 

INTERCEPTION RETURNS BLOCKED PUNT RETURN
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG NO YARDS AVG TD LONG
2010  03        20 06.67  00    20  01        24 24.00  00    24
2011  03        37 12.33  00    25  00        00 00.00  00    00
2012  02        00 00.00  00    00  00        00 00.00  00    00
TOTAL  08        57 07.13  00    25  01        24 24.00  00    24

 

McDONALD GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Kickoff
Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

Pres

BK

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Hawaii 09/01/12 Hawaii 49-10

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

4

0

2

5

0

0

0

1

0

0

Syracuse 09/08/12 Syracuse 42-29

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stanford 09/15/12 at Stanford 14-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

California 09/22/12 California 27-9

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

5

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Utah 10/04/12 at Utah 38-28

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Washington 10/13/12 at Washington 24-14

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

4

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colorado 10/20/12 Colorado 50-6

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arizona 10/27/12 at Arizona 36-39

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

7

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oregon 11/03/12 Oregon 51-62

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

8

2

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arizona St. 11/10/12 Arizona St. 38-17

Yes

1

0

0

1

2

0

3

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UCLA 11/17/12 at UCLA 28-38

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

1

10

0

1

10

1

0

0

Notre Dame 11/24/12 Notre Dame 13-22

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia Tech 12/31/12 Georgia Tech 7-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

9

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

2

0

0

1

2

0

58

54

3

5

19

0

1

10

3

1

1

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

Pres

BK

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Minnesota 09/03/11 Minnesota 19-17

Yes

0

0

0

3

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Utah 09/10/11 Utah 23-14

Yes

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Syracuse 09/17/11 Syracuse 38-17

Yes

0

0

0

2

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arizona St. 09/24/11 at Arizona St. 22-43

Yes

0

0

0

1

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arizona 10/01/11 Arizona 48-41

Yes

2

12

0

2

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

California 10/13/11 at California 30-9

Yes

0

0

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Notre Dame 10/22/11 at Notre Dame 31-17

Yes

0

0

0

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stanford 10/29/11 Stanford 48-56

Yes

0

0

0

2

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colorado 11/04/11 at Colorado 42-17

Yes

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Washington 11/12/11 Washington 40-17

Yes

0

0

0

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oregon 11/19/11 at Oregon 38-35

Yes

0

0

0

2

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

UCLA 11/26/11 UCLA 50-0

Yes

1

25

0

8

2

0

1

3

0

0

0

1

0

0

Season Totals

3

37

0

28

39

1

2

4

0

0

0

2

0

1

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Punt Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

Pres

BK

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Hawaii 09/02/10 at Hawaii 49-36

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Virginia 09/11/10 Virginia 17-14

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

7

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Minnesota 09/18/10 at Minnesota 32-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

4

0

1

8

0

1

8

0

0

0

Washington St. 09/25/10 at WSU 50-16

Yes

1

20

0

0

0

0

3

3

0

1

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

Washington 10/02/10 Washington 31-32

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stanford 10/09/10 at Stanford 35-37

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

California 10/16/10 California 48-14

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oregon 10/30/10 Oregon 32-53

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

3

0

1

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

Arizona St. 11/06/10 Arizona St. 34-33

Yes

0

0

0

1

24

0

3

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Arizona 11/13/10 at Arizona 24-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oregon St. 11/20/10 at Oregon St. 7-36

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Notre Dame 11/27/10 Notre Dame 16-20

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UCLA 12/04/10 at UCLA 28-14

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

3

20

0

1

24

0

35

54

0

3

14

0

1

8

4

0

1

2009 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

Pres

BK

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

San Jose St. 09/05/09 San Jose St. 56-3

Yes

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ohio St. 09/12/09 at Ohio St. 18-15

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Washington 09/19/09 at Washington 13-16

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Washington St. 09/26/09 Washington St. 27-6

Yes

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

California 10/03/09 at California 30-3

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Notre Dame 10/17/09 at Notre Dame 34-27

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oregon St. 10/24/09 Oregon St. 42-36

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oregon 10/31/09 at Oregon 20-47

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arizona St. 11/07/09 at Arizona St. 14-9

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stanford 11/14/09 Stanford 21-55

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UCLA 11/28/09 UCLA 28-7

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arizona 12/05/09 Arizona 17-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Boston College 12/26/09 Boston College 24-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

3

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

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