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2022 Senior Film Review of UCF Signee Jordan McDonald

Characterizing the talents of UCF running back signee Jordan McDonald.
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With the way that UCF Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn likes to run the football between the tackles, adding Jordan McDonald to the 2022 recruiting class made sense.

He’s a big running back that does his best work towards the middle of the field. By adding McDonald, the Knights will continue to have a balanced running back depth chart in terms of size and speed.

Jordan McDonald

Vitals: 6’1”, 215-pounds

Position: Running Back

High School: Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton

Recruitment: Several programs from across the country recruited McDonald. UCF, Tennessee, and South Carolina were probably the most heavily involved with his recruitment. Florida State, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, and Louisville are just a handful of his other offers.

Frame

McDonald is about as ready made a power running back as one would like to find. He’s built well in his upper legs, a key attribute for in-between the tackles running, and he’s also advanced his upper body strength for a high school running back.

With how he’s built already, McDonald just needs to finetune his frame and add strength, not size. He might add another 10 pounds, but nothing more will be needed.

Athleticism

Even at 6’1”, 215-pounds, McDonald is quite nimble and changes direction well. In fact, he often set up defenders for hard cuts that resulted in big plays.

He’s not necessarily a burner, but few defenders caught him from behind. Playing in the Atlanta area, there’s a plethora of speed that McDonald goes against, too.

He’s also just a bull, as one might expect. When a defender does not use proper tackling form and stays high, that usually does not end well for that defender. McDonald runs over players on a consistent basis.

Best Attribute

Confidence. McDonald ran hard and did so right at the opponents he played. His attitude of being the hammer and the opponent being the nail serves him well.

McDonald simply knows what type of player he is. A big, powerful, downhill runner. He takes pride in that style of play and it’s obvious from watching his film.

Overall Style of Play

Just because McDonald hits the hole between the tackles with authority does not mean he’s just an inside runner. He’s done a great job of showing better patience as a runner during his senior season as compared to his junior year.

Outside zone is one play in particular that McDonald did this, and it’s a play that UCF certainly uses under Coach Malzahn. Regardless of the play, watching McDonald’s feet stay patient and not just run into the first hole he sees shows a natural penchant for playing running back.

Sometimes a running back needs to stay patient and wait for a block to develop; McDonald shows attribute this throughout his senior film.

He played 7A football in Georgia, the largest classification in the Peach State. Despite being a big running back, McDonald’s patience helped him rumble for many long touchdown runs against top-notch players going to SEC and ACC schools. How he usually did it is fun to watch.

When needed, he hammers right at a defender. McDonald picks and chooses how and when he uses his power, however, and that’s a great sign for his future.

Area to Improve

For any incoming freshman running back, learning to pass protect is a major priority. It’s not asked of high school running backs all that much. McDonald is certainly big enough, and he possesses that natural penchant for contact to be a good pass protector. It’s certainly an area that current UCF running back Isaiah Bowser excels at.

The other capacity to work on will be the screen game. Carrying out fakes during play-action screens, not giving away the screen pass too early when blocking prior to turning around and looking for the football, and just understanding the best ways to advance the football against college defenders will all be areas he learns more and more after being on the UCF practice fields.

For UCF coverage and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. For more college football, UCF and recruiting information, go to Twitter: @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Like and Subscribe!

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