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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Commentary

Senior safety is key playmaker on defense


Trevon Stewart Adrain McDonald WEB

Senior Adrian McDonald, left, and the Cougars’ secondary have continued form from the past three seasons, with three interceptions in their first two games. | File photo/The Cougar

With football becoming more and more of an offensive game, it’s easy to overlook standout players on the defensive side of the ball.

For the Cougars, one of those standout players is senior safety Adrian McDonald.

No matter where he lines up on the field, McDonald has a knack for finding the ball.

This season, McDonald already has two interceptions, tying the career interception record for active players. He is only one interception away from tying the all-time record for Houston.

With a week of rest and preparation and Texas State’s upcoming arrival in Third Ward, McDonald is in prime position to write his name in the record books.

In the simplest terms, some players have got it, and some players don’t.

Adrian McDonald is a ball magnet. Normally, a defensive back will get about three to four chances a game, but McDonald seems to always be where the ball is.

Opposing quarterbacks know that if you allow McDonald to touch the ball too many times, there’s good chance he’ll be handing it to quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. and the high-powered Houston offense.

McDonald attended Eisenhower High School in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he wasn’t the QB nightmare he is now.

In fact, he was a quarterback himself and totaled up more than 2,300 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns in his final two years.

There’s no question that being able to run an offense has helped McDonald become the ball hawk that he is now.

Coaches knew he was smart, had great intangibles and was a supreme athlete, but he has something that most defensive backs don’t: The advantage of seeing the field from both sides of the ball.

To play quarterback, you have to be a student of the game, and McDonald is clearly using that to his advantage.

Over the last few years, the Houston defense has been nationally known for creating turnovers.

McDonald is the creator of the “Jack Boyz,” the self-proclaimed name to the secondary that has been responsible for a lot of those turnovers.

With three interceptions in two games, the “Jack Boyz” seem to be back in action.

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