INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Former Jefferson High football standout Dewey McDonald has been getting set this week for rookie camp with the Indianapolis Colts after signing a free agent contract with the franchise following last weekend’s draft.
McDonald, a defensive back and 2009 graduate of Jefferson High School, was one of 19 undrafted free agents to sign with the Colts.
“I definitely expected to at least make it into a camp,” McDonald said. “A couple of teams had talked about drafting me towards the end, but they didn’t pull the trigger. After the draft was done, I had five or six teams ready to sign me as a free agent. I signed with the Colts at the end of the day after looking at the contracts and depth charts. I had a visit there, which went great – I loved the staff and organization and how they ran things.”
Other teams McDonald seriously considered were the Cardinals, Vikings and Packers. After signing with Indianapolis, he flew out the next day and has been going through walk-throughs, drills and meetings leading up to rookie camp starting Friday.
“It’s been fun, I’ve just been trying to absorb all the information and apply it out on the field,” he said. “The classroom is pretty tough with a lot of information thrown out at you. I’ve been paying attention and getting the extra studying hours back at the hotel room. I’m definitely catching on slowly, but surely.”
As a free agent signee, the best way for McDonald to find a spot on the team will likely be through special teams. The 6-foot, 220-pound defensive back certainly has the athleticism, finishing his senior season with California University of Pennsylvania collecting 89 total tackles (42 solo) and becoming the first player in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in over a decade to return three interceptions for touchdowns in a single season.
“(The key for me) to make the team is doing everything I can possible on special teams,” he said. “Special teams is definitely the key to making it on an NFL roster, that’s going to be your way in. Since I was a little kid, I’ve dreamed of playing in the NFL. I knew football was going to allow me to get a free education in college and this was the career path I wanted to take.”
Prior to his time at California (Pa.), McDonald spent three seasons playing at Fairmont State (2009-2011). He missed the 2012 season due to an injury.
“Once you get at this level, it’s how fast you can adapt and how consistent you are,” McDonald said. “The whole community (back home) has been behind me. We haven’t had a player come out of Jefferson High School since James Jett. A lot of people are proud of me and behind me – that’s been my motivation as well.”
Indianapolis’ rookie minicamp runs through the weekend, with offseason workouts continuing through June and another mandatory minicamp set for June 17-19.