Hometown: Suwanee, Georgia (North Gwinnett)
Other Offers: Ole Miss, Kansas State, Purdue, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Others
Commitment Post: Hawkeyes Land Jayden McDonald
With the departure of all three starters following last season, linebacker was a major position of need in the class of 2018. The coaches have addressed that with four commits at the position in this class. Two from the state of Iowa, one from just across the border in South Dakota, and the latest being from Georgia.
Only two days after officially committing to the Hawkeyes, Jayden McDonald is now signed with Iowa after submitting his national letter of intent to the staff today.
McDonald, a native of Suwanee, Georgia, prepped at North Gwinnett High School. Although he’s on the shorter side, he brings a ton of athleticism to the position. He projects as an outside linebacker, where he can use his speed and lateral quickness in coverage. He’ll step on campus with better natural ability in the pass game than any of the three linebackers who just departed. The test will be learning the defense and his responsibilities within the scheme without losing a step.
While his coverage skills and athleticism are what stand out most (he had 4 defensive touchdowns last season), he is more than capable in the run game and shows good instincts in sniffing out plays. At 6’1”, McDonald is reportedly already up to 220 pounds. He’ll likely look to add another 10-15 pounds before he sees the field. That added bulk, ideally without any dropoff in his quickness, should make him an ideal fit at outside linebacker.
During his senior season at North Gwinnett, McDonald logged 93 tackles, 17 TFL, 13 sacks, and four interceptions en route to a state championship.
McDonald is the only commit in the class from Georgia, a state the staff continues to emphasize in their search for speed and athleticism. As mentioned above,he’s one of four linebacker commits in the class, joining Dillon Doyle and Logan Klemp from Iowa and Seth Benson from South Dakota.
Welcome to the Hawkeye family, officially, Jayden McDonald.