Jelani McDonald

  • Pos S
  • Height 6-2
  • Weight 198

Prospect Info

  • High School Connally
  • City Waco, TX
  • Exp 2023 - ...

Texas Longhorns

  • Jersey #25
  • Class SO

As a Prospect

  • Class 2023
  • Committed 1/7/2023
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H.S. Scouting Report

Evaluated 01/12/2023

Gabe Brooks 247Sports Scouting Analyst


2-3 Round Day 2

Tall and long with immense frame potential relative to multiple possible position projections. Functional athleticism of a defensive back with physical tools of a modern off-ball linebacker or big wideout.

Extensive snaps at quarterback with proven big-play ability as a runner. Also has played receiver and provided ample snaps at multiple spots on defense for valuable two-way experience.

Produced encouraging corner reps vs. elite competition during 2023 All-American Bowl week. Displayed promising fluidity in short-area situations, as well as coverage instincts.

Playmaker with the ball in his hands. Flashes impressive move-stringing ability in the open field. Slippery strong and a long-striding speed builder when loose downfield. Ball skills should translate regardless of long-term role.

Owns an excellent athletic profile that includes terrific basketball context, plus Texas 4A championship-level track and field prowess. Dynamic open-floor finisher on the hardwood. State champion as a junior in the 4A triple jump (48-2) and regional qualifier in the long jump. Explosive athleticism also proven in testing environment.

Will need time to acclimate to a full-time role in the defensive back seven, whether safety, corner, nickel, or some hybrid variety. Good field speed but may need to reach an extra gear to match burners in man coverage.

Plays with above average strength relative to build but will need to hone tackling technique and provide more consistent get-to-the-ground pop. Fluidity was apparent in All-American Bowl exposure and multiple capacities on tape, but increasing redirecting suddenness will enhance reactive quickness and playmaking ability.

Could provide immediate snaps on special teams thanks to physical tools and football instincts. May require developmental patience, but possesses immense long-term potential, regardless of positional home. Projects as an eventual impact starter who could become an NFL Draft early-round candidate.

H.S. Athletic Background

Member of 247Sports' 2023 Freaks List.

Also plays basketball and competes in track and field.
Won the Texas 4A triple jump title with a 48-2 as a junior in May 2022. Long jumped 22-2.75 at regionals.
Waco Tribune-Herald Super CenTex boys basketball Player of the Year as a junior. Averaged 20.5 points during the playoffs. Helped Waco Connally to a 31-4 record and a Texas 4A Region III semifinals appearance.
Earned a pair of 4A silver medals as a sophomore in Spring 2021 thanks to a 6-4 high jump (6-6 PR at regionals) and a 45-4.75 triple jump.
2022: Texas District 11-4A-II Offensive MVP as a senior; Missed some time, but still helped Waco Connally to a Texas 4A D-I second-round playoff appearance.
2021: Primarily played quarterback as a junior.
- Gabe Brooks

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