Wilson DE Kareem McDonald gets healthy, eyes first offer

November 8, 2013

Wilson has found ways to be creative with the athleticism of Kareem McDonald, using the 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior at wide receiver the last few weeks. But that role has been limited. Wilson has plenty of receivers, and at defensive end, only one McDonald.

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McDonald shined at his natural position last week, posting three sacks in a 55-42 win over Anacostia. That pushed his total to 13 sacks this season, which is among the most in the city. The ambitious McDonald said back in August that he was pushing for 30 sacks as a junior — but he never thought he’d also have to push just to get back on the field after a kidney ailment in September kept him out three weeks and caused him to lose 20 pounds.

“My first game feeling normal was last week. Like, 100 percent normal,” McDonald said. “I went out there like, ‘yeah I could dominate this game.’ And I just went out there and gave it my all.”

McDonald is still receiving heavy interest — and he is still waiting for his first offer. He has interest from most of the top schools in the country, including Alabama along with area schools like Maryland. But the most attention as of late, according to McDonald, has come from Kentucky and Nebraska, the latter of which asked him to come to Lincoln for an unofficial visit this weekend. He pushed that back until after the season, he said, because it wasn’t logistically realistic with two games against Dunbar in as many weeks coming up.

On one particular third down last week, McDonald got a jump on the Indians shotgun formation. But he didn’t shake the defender. He didn’t try to prance around. He needed to know that he was fully back. So he bull-rushed, throwing the defender “like he was a boy or something,” McDonald said. And even though it resulted in one of the three sacks, the sequence might not have been possible in the weeks prior.

“After that play,” McDonald said, “I knew I was back.”

NUMBER CRUNCH: 546

The number of yards Wootton quarterback Sam Ellis threw for in a win over Rockville last week. The total is a Maryland state single-game passing record, a mark that was confirmed by the MPSSAA earlier this week.

BREAKFAST LINKS

– Rachel Ulsh had a big night Thursday, helping lead No. 3 Westfield to an overtime win against No. 10 Fairfax in the 6A Northern region title game in field hockey.

– Paul VI forward Quadree Smith committed to UNC-Greensboro earlier this week.

– A refocused Madison volleyball team took down Yorktown in Thursday’s Virginia 6A Conference 6 title match.

– Here is a complete list of Maryland and Virginia football playoff scenarios headed into Friday night, which will close the regular season for area football teams.

PHOTOS OF THE DAY

 VIDEOS OF THE DAY

WHAT TO WATCH

Football:Washington-Lee at Yorktown, 7:30 p.m.

The Generals (7-2, 6-0 National District) have clinched their first winning season in 18 years this year, and will return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 no matter what – but can beat Yorktown (8-1, 6-0) in the regular season for the first time since 1982 Friday night.

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