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5-Play Prospect: Hawaii QB Cole McDonald

By: Trevor Sikkema — May 29, 2019

Off nothing more than the eye test, McDonald looks like a subject of a story worth telling. Standing at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, his long blonde dreadlocks immediate give away his native California roots, and the dark eye black underneath his face mask gives him a warrior’s appearance.

As hard as it is to believe that a 6-foot-4 high schooler could be overlooked, McDonald was. During his high school career at Sonora High School in La Habra, California, McDonald was just a two-star recruit. His best statistical days came from his senior season, mainly because that’s where most of his playing time came to pass. Young in experience and accolades, McDonald had just one offer out of high school: Hawaii — the place he was destined to be.

After redshirting in 2016, McDonald was a backup in 2017. But the 2018 season was his coming out party, if you will. In the team’s season opener versus Colorado State, McDonald amassed over 500 total yards with five total touchdowns. McDonald was one of the top passers in the country last season with 24 touchdowns and just two interceptions six games into the year — his first six games as a full-time starter. After dealing with some injury, McDonald finished the year with 36 passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions with 3,875 passing yards.

McDonald is still young, but he’s unique in many ways. His style is irreplaceable, and the start of his career mirrors that of the legends of the Rainbow Warriors program that came before him. But though those who came before him brought great stories to the islands, they didn’t have similar success at the next level.

Can McDonald be different? READ MORE