Hawaii football: Quarterback Cole McDonald says he will enter NFL Draft

Quarterback Cole McDonald will not return for his senior season and instead will enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald announced on social media this afternoon that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter into the 2020 NFL Draft.

McDonald will finish his UH career with 8,032 passing yards and 70 touchdowns in 33 games.

“Having a chance to play in the NFL has been a lifelong dream and I am excited for the challenge,” McDonald wrote as part of his posted message.

With the fourth-year junior at the controls for most of the 2019 season, UH (10-5) attained double-digit wins for the first time since 2010. McDonald led a game-winning drive against old rival BYU on his final possession as a Rainbow Warrior on Christmas Eve.

After UH won the SoFi Hawaii Bowl 38-34, McDonald was noncommittal on his future, saying he would consult his family and old mentors and pray on the matter.

McDonald is the third quarterback this week to declare for the draft with college eligibility remaining. On Monday, Saint Louis alum Tua Tagovailoa announced he would forgo his senior season at Alabama and enter the draft. Earlier today, Georgia’s Jake Fromm announced he would not return for his senior season to enter the draft.

Washington’s Jacob Eason and Utah State’s Jordan Love are also entering the draft with college eligibility remaining.

It’s turning into a loaded class with LSU’s Joe Burrow expected to be the No. 1 pick. Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, Iowa’s Nate Stanley, Washington State’s Anthony Gordon and Colorado’s Steven Montez are all senior quarterbacks who could hear their name called in April.

McDonald’s decision makes Chevan Cordeiro the presumptive starter at quarterback for the 2020 season. Cordeiro, who was frequently brought in in relief of McDonald during games for the last two seasons, threw for 907 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions on 69-for-120 (58 percent completion rate) passing in 2019.

UPDATE: UH quarterbacks coach Craig Stutzmann and offensive coordinator Brian Smith tweeted their support for McDonald:

UPDATE II: Head coach Nick Rolovich added his well wishes.


  1. boolakanaka January 8, 2020 4:38 pm

    Wow, go ahead boy, and get some ….

  2. Pukalani boy January 8, 2020 5:16 pm

    Good luck Cole!!

  3. Kawika January 8, 2020 6:45 pm

    Cole: Mahalo for your hard work, resilience, and in representing UH & the 808! Best of luck in your future endeavors! BTW, keep the hair and don’t change for no one!

  4. Luki January 8, 2020 6:57 pm

    Go get it Cole! Thank you for being a Warrior bruh…🤙🏼

  5. H-Man January 8, 2020 9:01 pm

    Good luck to you Cole !! I won’t be forgetting the TD toss to beat BYU.

  6. Matt January 8, 2020 9:42 pm

    I think Cole could have a good place in the NFL, just a matter of which team could use a good QB arm like McDonald. I mean, of the many UH QBs, he’s got a positive outlook, a good heart, and humble personality. How can you not love him?

    Of course, there are a multitude of candidates for UH that could have a place in the draft, guys like Byrd, Ward, and Farris. I mean, how could you not want either of those three into the mix? I’d be curious to see if those three were to enter the draft as well as McDonald.

    But yeah, 2019 was the best year for UH football, no doubt. The best in as many years. Now it’s a matter of moving ahead to 2020 and reloading up, especially preparing for a dangerous schedule looming large.

  7. roygbivs January 8, 2020 11:40 pm

    I love college football!!
    Who’s next!?!

  8. SteveO January 9, 2020 9:39 am

    With Cole leaving and Leach leaving Wash. St. for Miss. St., does DeLaura request out if his NLI and sign with UH?

  9. iGrokSpock January 9, 2020 10:41 am

    Best of luck to Cole and plenty mahalos for choosing the Warriors!

  10. Kev-1 January 9, 2020 10:51 am

    Chevan, hit the weight room my bruddah. This is your shot. You gotta develop that D1college QB body during the off season.

    Cole, go for your shot. Good luck and mahalo!

  11. Na Alii Pride January 9, 2020 1:58 pm

    #8 I shudder to think this, but does WSU look at Rolo?

  12. Robert January 9, 2020 2:53 pm

    I think he should have stayed one more year even though the team might not be as good next year. This year there are quite a bit of good quarterbacks in the draft pool as well as some free agent quarterbacks looking to join a new team. I think his chances of being a mid round pick would be better. He will be lucky to get in during the late round this year.

  13. Kev-1 January 9, 2020 5:26 pm

    Jeezy, idk about you, but I’m hearing birdies chirping.

  14. sports for fun January 9, 2020 7:25 pm

    Good Cole!! Thank you for all you’ve done for the 808!! Tear it UP!!

    Okay, other than Chevan, who are the quarterbacks in the system and who are the QB recruits coming in? I know Boone Abbott. His tape looks pretty good. He’s got size, 6’2″, and pretty good mobility. On his twitter, he’s really excited to be coming!

  15. sports for fun January 9, 2020 7:28 pm

    #11 That’s a legit concern. Hopefully Rolo’s love for the islands will win out, and he’ll decide to stay. Then hopefully, UH will reward his loyalty.

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