Quintus McDonald

Trust Spotlights

Quintus McDonald


Quintus McDonald is a former NFL linebacker who spent three seasons in the league. A passionate servant in his community, McDonald shared his football experience to highlight the benefits of having a strong support system after retirement.

Quintus McDonald was born in rural North Carolina to a family of athletes. He started playing football with his older cousin in elementary school and enjoyed the physicality of the game.

McDonald played defensive end through middle and high school before transitioning to linebacker by his coach and stuck with that position throughout his career. He enjoyed a special college career where he played for two national championships at Penn State and was then selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of the 1989 NFL Draft.

McDonald’s time in Indiana was full of personal achievements, including winning the Ed Block Courage Award for Comeback Player of the Year and also playing all four linebacker positions in one game against the Green Bay Packers. He eventually got released by the Colts, but managed to land a contract after impressing in free agency with San Francisco in 1993. However, in 1995 while playing in an arena game to get film for Coach Parcels who was coaching in New England at the time, McDonald broke his fibula, ending his playing career.

With six seconds left in the first game after compiling massive amounts of tackles and sacks and just destroying that team… a guy clipped me and broke the fibula on my right leg. That's how my career ended. It was absolutely not on my own terms… but I trust and know now that it was God preparing me for what's next in life.

McDonald summarized his NFL experience in one word: “outstanding”. He loved the camaraderie and lasting friendships he formed with his teammates and also shared that the game against Green Bay was one of his proudest moments while playing in the league.

After retiring from football due to injury, McDonald admitted to experiencing a difficult time, but he was grateful to the NFLPA for getting him back on his feet and purchasing his first piece of real estate. His support network consisted of men who helped him put his faith first.

From the dark space that I was in, to when I started to come out of that dark space after probably 15 years… with everything that I had going on, my support network was men with a strong spiritual foundation.

Thanks to his support system, McDonald was able to create the nonprofit for which he serves as an executive director today. The nonprofit consists of job development for formerly incarcerated men and women.

Since retiring, McDonald has mentioned being around his family, his teammates, and praying help him stay motivated. McDonald has impacted communities nationwide through recycling and marketing campaigns as well as operating the Montclair Junior Sports Academy in New Jersey. He’s excited to help underserved communities and also gave some advice to former players who are struggling with their mental health.

If they're seeking a resource, they should call the NFL Player Care Foundation. That's what I would say. I mean, if there is another one of my brothers, that's hurt, I'm gonna stop what I'm doing to help.

McDonald used The Trust services for financial assistance to help with college tuition and was able to graduate 30yrs later, in 2019. He wasn’t sure about the organization at first but is now thankful that it continues to grow and is a tremendous help to former players.

You guys are in our corner. I think the more that guys are able to see you all and see the brand, the more trust you're gonna gain.

McDonald summarized his life journey in one sentence: “not finished yet”. "I’m not finished yet, the best is yet to come”, he said. “We got a lot of work to do and I'm excited about it.”

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