"At least I know I can look back and know that I left my mark here," McDonald said. "I can leave here and come back and keep my head held high."
McDonald says it was emotional running out of the Coliseum tunnel for the last time as memories of his four years in Cardinal and Gold started flashing before his eyes.
"Just being able to be with these guys and come out of the Coliseum and just fight with the Trojans and the Trojan family," he said, "everybody has been so great to me and I'm thankful."
Though finishing the season 7-5, well short of expectations, McDonald admits he is proud of his team's ability to overcome adversity and stick together through the season, "We kept fighting," he said. "We came up short, but I'm proud of these guys efforts."
And as far as the regular season finale against top-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame? Well, McDonald isn't convinced the Fighting Irish are the best team the Trojans faced this season.
"I wouldn't say so," McDonald said when asked if Notre Dame was indeed the best team USC faced this season. "They're a great team, you can't take anything away from them, but Oregon was a great team also."
"I don't know how you crown one team better than the other," he continued, "but they're the number one team in the nation, so they deserve to play in a national championship."