In a league that emphasizes fast-paced and exciting gameplay, the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks have found a versatile weapon in quarterback Cole McDonald. A talented passer and runner, McDonald has proven that he can keep defenses on their toes, making him an invaluable asset to the Roughnecks.
Early Life and High School
Born and raised in California, McDonald attended Sonora High School where he excelled in both football and track. As a senior, he showcased his dual-threat abilities by passing for 2,313 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 1,091 yards and 10 touchdowns. Despite his impressive statistics, McDonald was lightly recruited and nearly ended up playing at a junior college before Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich extended a last-minute scholarship offer.
College Career at Hawaii
After redshirting his freshman year, McDonald began to make a name for himself as a redshirt sophomore. He threw for 3,875 yards and 36 touchdowns, earning honorable mention All-Mountain West Conference (MWC) honors. McDonald continued to impress in his junior season, passing for 4,135 yards and 33 touchdowns while also rushing for 383 yards and seven touchdowns. He was named second-team All-MWC before deciding to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
McDonald’s professional journey began when he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, he was waived by the Titans and briefly joined the Arizona Cardinals on a futures contract before being waived again. McDonald then signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, where he served as a backup and completed a brief stint before being released.
Houston Roughnecks’ New Weapon
The Houston Roughnecks of the XFL saw potential in McDonald and signed him on November 15, 2022. The team is undoubtedly excited to have a quarterback with McDonald’s unique skill set at their disposal. With his ability to create plays with his arm and legs, McDonald constantly threatens opposing defenses. The team uses him as the extra point quarterback and also runs the option in games. He was also featured in Episode 1 of Player 54 on ESPN—the XFL behind-the-scenes bi-weekly show.
As the XFL season unfolds, fans and teammates alike will be eager to see how McDonald’s dynamic abilities will impact the Roughnecks’ offensive game plan. Given his track record of success and dedication to improvement, there’s no doubt that Cole McDonald will make his presence felt on the field in the XFL.
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