SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Kyriq McDonald isn’t one to back down from a challenge.
“My work speaks for itself,” McDonald said. “I don’t expect things to happen, or expect things to come true just because I come from Alabama or Cincinnati, that’s not the deal.”
The redshirt Junior from Huntsville, Alabama started his career with the Crimson Tide.
McDonald spent all of the 2017 season on the sideline. In Alabama’s National Championship game against Georgia, McDonald collapsed on the sideline.
He bounced back, playing in 11 games in the following fall.
Then he transfered to Cincinnati.
Yet again, adversity struck when McDonald suffered a similar episode in only his second game with the Bearcats in 2019.
A medical regiment helped him get back to football. Following clearance from Missouri State doctors, McDonald found his oasis at Plaster Stadium in Springfield.
“I’m starting to feel like my normal self and starting to get in a groove,” McDonald said. “I don’t think I am, like 100 percent of my full capabilities, knowing I came from opting-out to a full spring season.”
Already putting his stamp on the Bears’ program.
“He’s leading the way for us and changing the culture,” Bears tight end Ron Tiavaasue said. “75 percent is covered by water and the rest is covered by Kyriq McDonald.”
“Guys like Kyriq help a lot,” Bears head coach Bobby Petrino said. “Guys that have battled a lot of things in their life, not just in football. His positive energy an leadership”
McDonald has 38 tackles this spring, including three for loss and a sack, as well as a fumble recovery.
And proving that actions speak louder than words.
“I can talk and just say what I want to do, but you actually have to put it into a structure and people have to see you,” McDonald said. “If people don’t see a change or don’t see you doing what you preach, no one is going to follow you.”