Sept. 26, 2003
SENIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN Calvin McDonald
Senior Calvin McDonald is a returning starter at quick guard, but tore the meniscus in his left knee in the final scrimmage of the preseason. It was feared he was lost for the season, but the injury didn't damage his ACL and he could be back for the Washington State game. He quietly turned in a terrific season in his UNM debut and has improved by leaps and bounds since arriving at New Mexico from Fort Scott CC in 2001. McDonald redshirted his first season at UNM and with a strong push by backup Robert Turner, McDonald turn in a solid spring season with flashes of being a dominating player. McDonald just needs to become more consistent as he does a good job using his hands in pass protection, but needs to improve his run blocking technique. The coaches believe he could be much improved with a full year of game and practice experience under his belt. In 2002 McDonald started all 14 games. He left midway through the New Mexico State game with a mild concussion, but played all 63 offensive snaps in the next game vs. Texas Tech. McDonald also recorded 130 knockdown blocks in 2002.
Question: What are your personal goals on the field for the rest of the 2003 season?
Calvin McDonald: "My goal for 2003 is to get back on the field and play at a higher level then I was in 2002. When I'm healthy I want to be a dominant player for the rest of the year."
Q: What is the toughest challenge of playing on the offensive line?
CM: "The toughest thing is probably getting the right calls communicated to everybody, when the defense is moving around, but on Tuesday and Wednesday we get that straightened out and then it becomes easy."
Q: Which part of your game do you feel you need to continue to work on to become a more complete player?
CM: "I need to improve on my run blocking. I need to work on staying low. I also need to work on becoming a better second level blocker. I need to become a more consistent player."
Q: What is it like playing football in junior college in Kansas?
CM: "It was good because I was playing close to home so my mother could watch me play every week. It also gave me a chance to play with guys who are playing division one football or are playing in the NFL. The bad part was I was out in the country part of Kansas."
Q: What non-football talents or hobbies do you have? Which hobbies would you like to pick-up or improve off the field?
CM: "Playstation 2 and barbecue. Rudy Garcia and I talk about opening up a barbecue place down here when I am done playing. I also like to play cards."
Q: What made you choose UNM? What impressed you?
CM: "I chose UNM, because this was the only school where I felt I could have a chance to better myself both on the football field and in the classroom. The thing that impressed me the most was the work ethic the players had during the off-season."
Q: Where's the toughest place you've had to play on the road and why?
CM: "BYU, that's the biggest stadium that I have ever played in. 60,000 people yelling and screaming at you can rattle a person at the start of a game, but I got use to it and played well."
Q: What's the best class you've taken at UNM and why?
CM: "The best class that I have taken here is any independent study class, because you meet with the teacher every other week, you don't have to sit in class every other day for 50 minutes and you learn on your own."
Q: What do you and your teammates need to do to accomplish your team goals this season?
CM: "e need to keep the attitude that nobody is going to outwork us or play more physical than we do. This is the attitude we have had for the past couple of years and if we keep that attitude all of the goals for the season will happen."
Q: What have you done this season to work your way back from the early season knee injury.
CM: "I have done a lot of rehab and lifting weights to keep myself in shape. I have been participating in a lot of o-line drills to get my knee back to where it was before I got hurt."
Q: What does it feel like to make a knock down block that allows the running back to make a big run?
CM: "It feels good because all the work that you put in at practice has paid off when the running back is in the endzone."