Norman North’s Jachin McDonald – Academic Athlete Presented by Republic Bank & Trust

By John Tranchina

Jachin McDonald is not your typical football player. For him, the ability to play football while also continuing his education in college would be a dream come true, matching two of his favorite activities – football and learning. The Norman North senior defensive lineman, who carries a weight GPA around 4.1, is still reviewing the possibilities for next year.

“I’m looking at different options,” McDonald said. “A lot of it is going to depend on opportunities that pop up, but I’m looking to go to college for PR and advertising and just working with a company and marketing them to the public and stuff like that, because I enjoy working with people as well. That’s probably my plan. I think if I can play football to get myself through college, that’s an awesome deal because I love the game and that would be an awesome way to get to pour time into two passions of mine. I hope (football is a part of it), but I guess it just depends on the opportunities that are presented to me.”

To that end, McDonald spent the summer working on his game quite a bit, putting a lot of effort into improving his agility on the field.

“This off-season has been really valuable to me, in learning how to use my body, basically,” he said. “The main focus for me in this off-season was lateral movement, hip mobility, because I gained about 30 pounds in the off-season, so just learning how to use that well and play under control and play fast is probably the focus personally. And as a team, we’ve really spent a lot of time working to be disciplined and to play with purpose, and I think that’s one of the most valuable things we’ve done this off-season in preparation for the season. I think it’s going to really pay off. I’m really excited about this year and my team.”

As for his academics, McDonald places a lot of emphasis on excelling in the classroom, recognizing how much that will benefit him later in life.

“In ‘student-athlete,’ the student comes first, so just like you’d want to spend time watching film and practicing, you’ve also got to make sure that you’re setting aside time for homework and studying,” McDonald said. “I think playing football has also helped me learn the drive that you need to kind of push your own education forward, so the hard work that is taught on the field and in the weight room is really valuable if you apply it to your schoolwork as well, because it allows you to drive your own ship.”

McDonald is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as the event coordinator for Christians on Campus, “which is just an organization of students trying to connect with other students.” He is also involved in activities with his church and does some additional volunteer work. His favorite subject in school is English.

“I’ve always loved my English classes, just because it allows you to be creative, but it also teaches you skills that’ll apply to pretty much every job in the future,” McDonald said. “I really love English – I like to read, I like the write, I really love poetry. Poetry is probably one of my favorite things.”