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.
— °°° K . C °°° (@ColeHunter520) January 9, 2020
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:
— Craig K. Stutzmann (@CoachStutzmann) January 9, 2020
— Brian Smith (@coachsmitttty) January 9, 2020
UPDATE II: Head coach Nick Rolovich added his well wishes.
— Nick Rolovich (@NickRolovich) January 9, 2020