Being a good teammate is something all athletes strive toward. Good chemistry can carry championship caliber teams to multiple titles. It can be hard to have a good attitude or good demeanor when there aren’t many chances to take the field with teammates. Luckily for the Colorado Mesa University football team, they have an all-around great student-athlete and person in Jordan McDonald.
McDonald, a senior, is an offensive lineman who hasn’t taken the field during games all that much this season. He’s worked primarily on the scout team and demonstration team. But that hasn’t stopped him from showing his love for the game and the type of person he is. His love for the game goes beyond X’s and O’s, and it is something he wants to show to his coaches and teammates every day.
“I love the game,” McDonald said. “I’ve played it since I was four years old. A lot of people don’t get to play college football, so that’s a blessing in itself.”
McDonald has spent the season with the football team after transferring a few years back, which is why there was a delay for him to join the team. Once he was eligible, he asked Head coach Russ Martin to let him join the team. After achieving the proper grades, Martin allowed it.
Even though he was a perennial starter in high school and his former college, McDonald didn’t find any trouble adjusting to his new environment. Not getting to play games consistently can be a challenge for athletes, but he does not let that creep into his mind. He values how he helps prepare the starters during practice days.
Martin values how much hard work McDonald has put in the program, even if he hasn’t got to play that much this season.
“Jordan has worked very hard for us,” Martin said. “He’s basically been running primarily a lot of the scout team and demonstration team for us. That’s an important part for a program because not everybody is going to be a starter, not everybody is going to be an immediate backup. He has bought into taking care of his role and doing a great job for us.”
Making connections beyond the football field is another reason McDonald enjoys his role on the team. Even if the team was struggling, it wouldn’t change his mindset. He would still be the hard worker he is now.
“That’s the type of competitor I am,” McDonald said. “What keeps you going is the camaraderie and the brotherhood. Even if I wasn’t playing I don’t want them to look at me as a quitter. I don’t want anyone to ever see me as a quitter. It’s me getting a chance to hang out with these dudes and just do what we all love to do and that’s play football.”
That kind of commitment and dedication can be hard to find. Athletes have the competitive fire to go out onto the field and show what they’re capable of—the fire to win every single game.
To have that come from someone who isn’t seeing the field so much is a testament to good character. It’s an example youth athletes can learn from, and even college athletes who may find themselves in the same situation.
“One of the things you see in today’s society is a lot of times if somebody isn’t being the star player, they want to quit,” Martin said. “I think it’s a great example of just understanding that if something’s important to you, you continue to work at it, you continue to give it your best, and sometimes it’s going to be more of a limited role. That’s okay. You’re still doing what you love to do.”
With the football team securing a share of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Championship this season, all the hard work and dedication McDonald has put it can pay off. He could go home with a ring.
“If I have to finish my career, I want to finish it with some hardware,” McDonald said. “I want to be able to say I finished my career as a champion with the friends that I grew up with.”
No matter what happens, his experience at Mesa is one McDonald won’t regret.
“I feel like I have offered something,” McDonald said. “I wouldn’t take it back. Some people say, ‘Why would you give up your free time to go play football?’ I mean, it’s all paying off now.”