But through the ups and downs, more downs than one could ever anticipate, the safety says he's happy he stuck it out.
"Everyone from the top down has done a great job of handling our situation and being there for us," he said after one of his final practices as a Trojan.
"I'd been wanting to be a Trojan my entire life," he said.. "Being able to be here, be able to wear the cardinal and gold and represent, it's been a great experience and it's been a great run."
McDonald, who turned down the NFL to play his senior season at USC, says he's looking forward to the next step in his playing career but is focused on enjoying his last days with his current team.
"I'm just worried about Georgia Tech right now and playing with these guys for my last game," he said. "I just want to go out there give it my best effort and get a 'W'."
McDonald has led the Trojans with 99 tackles this season and chipping in two interceptions.
USC plays Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve.