Former University of Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald is taking his talents to Nashville.
The Tennessee Titans today selected McDonald in the seventh round — No. 224 overall — of the 2020 National Football League Draft.
“I’m excited right now,” McDonald told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in a telephone interview. “I’m super excited. I’m at home with a bunch of family and friends. It was pretty awesome. It was surreal to see my name up there (on the draft telecast).”
The move comes five years after the Titans picked Marcus Mariota, a Saint Louis school graduate and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, with the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. Mariota’s contract expired with the Titans, and he signed with the Las Vegas Raiders.
As a fourth-year junior in 2019, McDonald threw for 4,135 yards (on 63.8% accuracy) and 33 touchdowns to help the Rainbow Warriors win the Mountain West Conference’s West Division title. In January, McDonald announced he would forgo his senior season to apply for the NFL Draft.
McDonald worked under Jordan Palmer, a widely regarded quarterback guru, and trained in a program administered by the Mamba Academy, which was founded by the late NBA great Kobe Bryant.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, McDonald ran 40 yards in 4.58 seconds, fastest among the 17 quarterbacks invited to participate.
McDonald said he had heard from several teams, including the Titans. Asked if he knew the Titans would choose him, he said, “I had some idea. But that call (from the Titans) solidified it.”
McDonald said he was pleased just to receive an opportunity in the NFL. “That’s all I needed,” he said.