Dexter McDonald is a fast-rising athlete from perennial powerhouse Kansas City Rockhurst. He's played ball only a couple years, so his potential for improvement is tremendous. He made his decision to attend Illinois public today.
"I committed today to Illinois."
McDonald visited for the Illini spring game with his friend and teammate Nathan Scheelhaase, and he went home with positive feelings.
"I feel it is the right place for me. I've loved everything about it from Day 1. I just feel pretty comfortable, so I decided to pull the trigger."
He was convinced, but he needed his family to support his decision. It is a six hour drive from Kansas City to Champaign, so it was important they understood and accepted their son's decision.
"At first, my parents thought it was pretty far. I had offers from KU and Missouri, and they wanted me to stay closer to home.
"But once they got out there and had a chance to meet the coaches, they knew I'd be around some good people. So they were fine with it. We're a pretty close family."
McDonald is a relative unknown since he started playing football his sophomore year. But the 6'-2", 190 pounder has excellent speed and can change directions and accelerate quickly. He was impressive at a recent Nike Combine.
Missouri came in strong recently, so there were some who thought the Tigers could influence McDonald to prefer his state school. He attended a camp there recently and made a great impression. But the Tigers were too late to change his mind.
"I did pretty good at the Missouri camp. I liked Missouri because it's just three hours away from my house. They're in the Big 12 Conference, and usually the Big 12 throws a lot more than the Big 10. And who wouldn't want to play for their home state school? But I was already favoring Illinois."
McDonald is a hard worker who is preparing for his upcoming season. He hopes to come out for a game or two when possible. Regardless, he is firm with his decision.