2013 NFL Draft Player Profile – FS T.J. McDonald

Safety is considered a special position at the University of Southern California.

T. J. McDonald knew that before he arrived on campus more than four years ago. He just had to look across the dinner table to his father Tim McDonald, a four-year letterman and twice captain of the Trojans. He took that college career into a long NFL career at safety.

Now his oldest son seeks to follow in his footsteps and join that SC safety pedigree of Tim McDonald, Troy Polamalu, Ronnie Lott, Dennis Smith, Mark Carrier and others.

“The tradition of USC safeties means everything to me,” said T.J. McDonald. “I mean, my dad is part of that legacy. They were the ones who established the tradition before me and I want to be the tradition now. Guys like my dad, Troy Polamalu, Ronnie Lott. The list goes on and on. They were smart players and I want to be like that. I want people to think of me that way.”

McDonald got a double dose of his dad, since Tim McDonald was also his coach at Edison High School in Fresno, California. “He’s been preparing me for this for a long time,” said his son. “He wasn’t preparing me to be a high school player or a college player. He was trying to teach me how to be a pro from a young age. The relationship I have with him has pushed me to the point where I am now. I know I have a responsibility to him, to myself, to my family to be able to go for it all, not to just step my foot in this league but to be able to go for a career.”

Here’s T.J. McDonald’s story and that of his family.

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