Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Freshman (2009): 13 games, seven tackles and four solo.
Sophomore (2010): 12 games, 89 tackles, 54 solo, four passes broken up and three interceptions.
Junior (2011): 12 games, 67 tackles, 39 solo, two passes broken up and three interceptions.
Senior (2012): 13 games, 110 tackles, 54 solo, three passes broken up and two interceptions.
McDonald sat behind former second-round pick Taylor Mays at free safety during his freshman season. He recorded seven tackles and played mostly on special teams.
There was, however, no doubt that McDonald would get into the regular rotation for USC at some point in the near future.
That future represented his sophomore campaign.
The talented safety took over for Mays the following season and never looked back. He finished ninth in the PAC-10 in tackles, ninth in solo tackles and eighth in interceptions. His performance as a sophomore earned McDonald All-Second Team PAC-10 honors.
McDonald struggled a bit more as a junior. He was nowhere near as reliable in coverage. That being said, he did earn First Team PAC-12 honors and was a member of the SI.com All-American Second Team.
Where McDonald may have struggled as a junior, he stepped back up in 2012. He finished fourth in the conference in tackles. He was a Thorpe Award and Lott Trophy candidate heading into 2012.
All statistics provided by CFBStats.com.