Southeast Missouri State University student publication

McDonald’s stock rises at WR position

Thursday, November 16, 2023
SEMO senior wide receiver Dalyn McDonald (14) celebrates after making a 32-yard contested catch against the Robert Morris Colonials at Houck Stadium on Nov. 4. The catch was McDonald's longest of the season.
Photo by Chandler Davis

Senior wide receiver Dalyn McDonald made a name for himself last season as one of the best return specialists in not only the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), but in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) as a whole. This season he’s proving himself at the wide receiver position as well.

At the end of the 2022 season, McDonald had just six catches for 83 yards on the year, and averaged 6.9 yards per game. With two regular season games left this year, McDonald currently sits on 16 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 24 yards a game.

“He’s getting better and better at route running and he’s continued to get better,” wide receivers coach Justin Drudik said. “He’s explosive as far as running after the catch as well.”

McDonald said he feels like his weight gain has played a big part in his improvement since last year. He said he’s put on about 10 pounds, and has gotten faster and stronger.

So far this season, he’s had two games where he had five receptions, and his longest is 32 yards. But the thing about McDonald’s catches is that he usually shows up and makes these big catches when the team needs it the most, typically around a third down possession.

Out of high school, the 5-foot-11, Gautier, Mississippi native had two D2 offers. McDonald decided to go to Southwest Mississippi Community College for two years, before landing in Cape Girardeau in early 2022.

In his second year at Southwest, McDonald tallied 22 catches for 303 yards and two touchdowns. He also was their top return man, running back 23 kick returns for 562 yards and a touchdown, and he scored two touchdowns off of punt returns too. But not only was he a receiver and return specialist, he played quarterback for some time as well.

After last season, McDonald earned First Team All-OVC honors as a kick and punt returner. He led the OVC in average yards on kick return (26.1) and punt return (7.3), and he was ranked 14th in all of the FCS for his kick return average.

McDonald said his mother and his family as a whole are at the top of the list when it comes to his motivation.

“They motivate me everyday,” McDonald said. “And I got to put on for my brothers.”

Senior wide receiver (and friend of McDonald) Ryan Flournoy said McDonald is a great player, but an even better teammate.

“He’s a great teammate,” Flournoy said. “He’s a joy to be around, and he always brings laughter to the weight room and locker room.”