The genesis of the offer was a late February visit to UNC. McDonald dropped by UNC during a trip down to Duke, primarily because of his familiarity with Tar Heel senior offensive tackle Brennan Williams.
"I met one of the coaches when I was there [at UNC] and he said I definitely passed the eye test," McDonald said. "They just wanted to watch my film, because they hadn't watched it yet. And then they wanted to talk to my coach in person and get some more information from him."
Dave Duggan, who recruits the northeast for UNC, visited Boston College High School late last week and spoke to McDonald's coaching staff. After the evaluation visit, McDonald phoned Duggan and was promptly offered.
UNC is the tenth school to offer McDonald a scholarship. Other schools that offered include Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Harvard, Maryland, Miami, Virginia, and Yale.
Like most schools, UNC hasn't exactly determined where along the offensive line McDonald fits best. McDonald, who has started for BC High since his sophomore season, began his career at right tackle, but was moved to guard midway through his junior season.
McDonald hasn't officially established a favorite schools list, but says three-to-four schools are standing out.
"I'd say that BC, UNC, and Virginia are sticking out pretty good," McDonald said. "I still like Maryland too. I like Boston College because it is so close. With Virginia and UNC, the coaches are great, and the facilities."
The proximately from his home is one of the biggest differences between the schools that have offered McDonald, particularly those that are standing out.
"[Location] is not that big of a factor," McDonald said. "I just want to find somewhere where I'm going to feel comfortable. If it's far away, it's not a deal breaker."
In addition to Duke and UNC, McDonald has visited Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Penn State, and Virginia. He plans to make several additional unofficial visits this summer.
"I want to get back down to UNC now that I have the offer," McDonald said. "I want to sit down and talk to the coaches more and get a better look at it.
"I want to see Rutgers, too, and some other schools that haven't offered me yet."
McDonald's goal is to make a verbal commitment before his senior football season.
"Academics will obviously be important," McDonald said. "But I also want a prestigious football program. I also want a school that gives me a good feeling – one that I fit in with. I want a school that if I wasn't playing football, I could see myself there."