Joining the Cal Poly football program has Sean McDonald excited about run blocking.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive tackle from City College of San Francisco, who plans to sign a letter of intent with the Mustangs when the signing period opens Wednesday, expects to fit right in to the triple-option blocking scheme that produced the third-leading rushing attack in the FCS (324.2 yards per game).
“It’ll be a different offense than I’ve ever run,” McDonald said, “but after watching the film, it’s stuff that I enjoy doing, off-tackle cuts and a lot of open-field blocking.”
McDonald said he made a verbal commitment to join the program during a recruiting visit to San Luis Obispo last month, and the incoming junior could make an immediate impact on the offensive line.
McDonald said he had offers from Connecticut, New Mexico State and Sacramento State, and Rams offensive line coach Eduardo Nuno said he was also pursued by Wyoming, Kent State and Florida Atlantic.
Most of the above suitors play at the FBS level.
“To me, that wasn’t a huge factor in my decision-making,” McDonald said. “It was all DI football. Cal Poly’s not necessarily a lower-caliber football team. In my mind, I wasn’t looking for bragging rights.
“I’d love to start next year at tackle. There’s defiantly chance for me to come in and compete for the spot.”
Toward the end of last season, the Mustangs were playing with an offensive line that included three freshmen starters forced into action by injury.
The Mustangs can use help at tackle with Karl Winkelman finishing off his injury-plagued career and returning senior Mike Freeman coming off a gruesome leg fracture.
Former Atascadero High standout Weston Walker was pressed into action as a redshirt freshman and helped Cal Poly advance to the first round of the FCS playoffs. Senior Giovanni Sani returns and should nail down one tackle spot.
McDonald also has the pass-blocking experience of a two-year starter who helped get the Rams to two state title games while twice being named to the all-conference team — just in case Cal Poly wants to fling the ball around a little more.
“They want to switch to more passing the next couple years,” McDonald said, “and they want to expand on their triple option, too. They don’t want to be known just a triple-option offense.”
Unrecruited out of San Mateo Hillsdale High three years ago, McDonald started attending classes at CCSF during the spring of his senior season and began to work out with the college team’s players.
He was able to bulk up from 215 pounds to 260 by the start of his freshman season with the Rams, and immediately moved into the starting lineup.
“He was what we call our speed tackle,” Nuno said, “because he can run real well. He’s really smart, he can recognize blitzing defense and make our protection calls. Our best lineman always plays our speed tackle position, and that’s saying a lot because our other tackle went to Texas A&M.”