McDonald has spent his football life trying to live up to the name his father made for himself as an All-American safety at USC in the mid-1980s and 13-year NFL veteran who won a Super Bowl as a member of the San Francisco 49ers in 1994. T.J. (stands for Tim, Jr.) has never shied away from that pressure, however, earning his own accolades over the past couple of seasons. McDonalds brother, Tevin, is a true sophomore safety who enrolled at crosstown rival UCLA instead of following his dad and brother as Trojans.
NFL bloodlines with pro size and length who has played deep and in the box. Hits like a missile in the middle of the field, uses his shoulder to bring real power into the back or midsection of receivers with closing speed and tenacity. Solid ball skills, looks high and wide passes into his hands and can get down to get his hands under low throws. Physical presence around the line, sticks his head into short-yardage plays and uses his length to stay off lineman blocks and to wrap up running backs in traffic and receivers in the flat. Attacks the alley aggressively when coming downhill from two-high coverages. Does a good job fighting through blocks and making tackles on screens. Tries to lay the kill shot on wide receivers over the middle, but generally a good form tackler against running backs. Height and size come in handy on jump ball situations. Will be a factor on special teams, both using his length on the kick block team and as a strong tackler on coverage units.