determined to play quarterback in college.
He just needed a chance to prove his worth.
It looks as if he will get that chance, as McDonald has made a
verbal commitment to UNLV.
Now he can be called a Rebel, literally and figuratively.
"Making the final decision took a lot of pressure off of me,"
McDonald said. "I just wanted to not only find a place to play, but I
also wanted to find the right place to play.
"It really came down to UNLV and Utah. But I was really impressed
with almost everything with UNLV."
Utah was so interested in McDonald, in fact, Mike's father, Mike,
said when the Utes' coach was informed about the senior's decision to
go to UNLV, he asked if there was anything he could do to change the
"That was kind of nice, knowing there were a few colleges that
were interested in me," said McDonald, who said he was also pursued
by Boise State and Montana State, among others. "It was a good
experience going to the colleges and getting to know the coaches.
"But I think UNLV is the best fit for me. They run a really
high-powered offense that passes a lot. The coaches are really great
McDonald will join a Rebel program that is heading in a new
direction, with a new coach.
Mike Sanford -- who has an extensive college and professional
resume -- was hired Dec. 6 as the UNLV coach. He takes over a program
that went 6-6 (2-5 in the Mountain West Conference) last season.
Sanford, 49, enters his first head coaching position after an
outstanding career as one of the top assistants in the nation. He
spent the last two seasons as offensive coordinator at Utah, which
went 21-2 and 13-1 in the MWC.
A California native, Sanford replaces his college coach, John
Robinson, who retired after six seasons with the Rebels.
Coincidently, the elder McDonald -- who competed for more than a
decade in the NFL -- played under Robinson at USC and with the Los
A 27-year college and NFL coaching veteran, Sanford's NCAA
Division I coaching experience includes stints at Notre Dame, USC,
Purdue, Long Beach State, Virginia Military Institute and Army.