Offensive lineman Jake McDonald knows he's got the whole town of Corning behind him – be it this week while he is at the University of Arkansas' football camp or just in general.
"They are pretty excited for me because there is nobody to ever come out of Corning to play any football – much less Division I," McDonald said. "Everybody is proud of me, rooting for me and wanting me to go as far as I can go and hopefully even get to be a Razorback."
McDonald (6-3, 285), who ran a 5.25 in the 40-yard dash, was impressive Monday once the pads went on.
Or at least that is what he was hearing from Arkansas offensive line coach Mike Summers.
"Coach Summers was just telling me to keep up the hard work, that I am doing a good job and that they are really taking a look at me," McDonald said. "That makes me feel good."
Summers probably likes McDonald's philosophy of how he need to conduct himself in practice.
"I have just been doing my best, working my hardest, performing the best that I can perform," McDonald said. " I am just doing what I can do to show them that I am worthy of them offering me a scholarship."
McDonald is on a whirlwind tour of camps with the Razorback one, heading to Arkansas State on Thursday, Memphis on Sunday and then on to Ole Miss and UCA next week.
He would be glad to put those to the side if a UA offer comes.
"That's what I want and I would commit right away," McDonald said. "If not I will just keep working to impress all these schools. This is a big important time for me."
McDonald was pretty happy with his efforts in Sunday's testing part of camp.
"I ran my 40 in a 5.25 and I guess that was alright, but it was not the best I can do or the best I have done," McDonald said. "I am pretty comfortable with the 5.25 and my broad jump, which was 6-feet-5 inches."
Like most of the others, he was gassed at the end of a toughman competition obstacle course that including running, pulling a sled, pushing a shed, basically playing tug-or-war with it and other challenges involved.
"Now that toughman competition, that was tough," McDonald said. "I did that in 1:05. The worst part was when you got done running, you had to pull that deal. You had to be in shape for that."
He got a chance to go up against the other top lineman in camp on Monday when the prospects put on pads.
"It just makes everybody better when you have two people going head on head with the same goal in mind," McDonald said. "I feel like a little bit better this morning and I think by the end of this camp I will be the best that I can be."
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