Varsity Preps

Gabe McDonald: Class of 2015 Spotlight

Every recruiting class has talented sleeper prospects with loads of potential. Byrd (LA) ballcarrier turned run-stopper Gabe McDonald certainly falls into that category.

The 6’0, 225-pounder actually started his varsity career under center in spring football of his sophomore year, but was eventually moved to fullback because of his size. After a year of being on offense, he kept growing and was moved to the other side of the ball to try to prevent first downs instead of pick them up. McDonald found a new home on the defensive line.

“I definitely found where I like to play,” McDonald said. “I feel like the game is won in the trenches and I can really use my toughness on the defensive line.”

And he proved that the trenches are exactly where he belongs. He finished the year among the top of the team in several categories, including second in tackles for loss (10.5) and second in sacks (4). Following the season, he was invited to the Offense-Defense Showcase All-American Bowl and attended one of the invite-only NUC Five-Star Showcases. He also received an invite to the NUC Ultimate 100 Camp.

McDonald also gets it done in the classroom. He currently sports a 3.4 GPA, scored a 24 on the ACT and was recently inducted into the National Honor Society. His performance on and off the field have garnered him interest from coaches at Georgetown, Yale and Harvard.

“It was very exciting to get a letter from Yale,” McDonald said. “And not long after that, I heard from coaches at Harvard and Georgetown. Those are some of the top academic schools in the country, so it’s definitely a blessing to know that they have interest in me. It would be awesome to get an offer from those schools.”

McDonald also mentioned that Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech and McNeese State as some programs he’d like to play for. While playing where his family can come his games is important to him, academics are McDonald’s top priority.

“The education will be the most important factor in choosing a school,” McDonald said. Getting my degree is very important to me, so I’ll definitely be looking at academics. I’d like to go somewhere that feels like home and has a good campus environment. Having a good bond with the coaching staff is a big thing for me, too.”

Whichever school lands McDonald will gain a solid competitor. He has a high motor, a good first step and can really penetrate the line to disrupt the backfield. He’s strong and doesn’t give up on plays. He’s be a bit undersized for the defensive line at the next level and will likely be shifted to linebacker.

This summer will be a busy one for McDonald, as he plans to camp at ULL, LSU, Louisiana Tech and Henderson State as well as others to showcase his talent and improve his skills for his senior year. His main goal for his last high school season is to help his team get back to the state championship game. Byrd lost by one point in the title game in 2013.

McDonald is still working for that first offer and is a real hidden gem in the 2015 class. His work ethic and attitude will make him an excellent addition to any roster.

“Getting my first offer will mean the world to me,” McDonald said. “It’ll mean that all my hard work is paying off and that a coach really sees something in me and believes I can make a difference on the team.

“The school that I attend will get a player that will work hard, pay attention to the coaches and always be ready to learn. You have to be coachable to succeed in this game.”


Gabe McDonald’s Junior Highlights:




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