Quintus “Q” McDonald
College: Penn State
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round 6
Indianapolis Colts (1989–1991)
My Elite Network: From reading about everything you have accomplished, I’m curious as to where your inner-strength comes from. What were you like in high schoolOvercoming numerous obstacles throughout his life, Quintus “Q” McDonald is the perfect example of how inner strength, family and faith can help you achieve greatness. Through his work at I-Am-Recycling, Inc, Q’s mission in life is to give back, and being a man of honor, that comes easily.
Quintus “Q” McDonald: That's a tough question. Some of everything I think. There were times that I would be quite reserved and other times very watchful. There were times when I could be laughing and joking when I was with my intimate group of friends. You know we laugh and joke and had fun. In high school, at some point, I started drinking. But I was always a watchful reserved kind of person - until athletics came. My actions really did the talking. That was how I grew up…you don't have to say a lot. It's really all in your actions - they speak louder than words.
My Elite Network: Do you have a favorite parent memory from high school?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: Oh yeah, my mom. I had grown up a Trojan fan and I liked what Southern Cal football was all about. I loved to watch them play in that in that beautiful stadium on that beautiful grass. All that stuff was just very exciting to me. And having the opportunity to go there was unbelievable. I was I was torn between being five hours away from my mom or literally right down the street. One night my mom wouldn’t let me leave the house until I made a choice. The rest is history. God always knows what's best and in the end, it all worked out good.
My Elite Network: Of all the colleges that were interested in you…why did you choose Penn State?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: I’m a mama’s boy! Penn State became the final choice from all the schools that I visited because of its tradition of academic excellence. Penn State has a rich tradition of football excellence. And, it’s proximity to home. I am a country boy by heart and I absolutely love the scenery. And, I love my mom.
My Elite Network: What was it like playing for Coach Paterno?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: He was staight forward....the best player at a position would NOT always be the one playing on Saturdays! When I first started at Penn State, it was very hard to go from starting in high school to not knowing when I would play. Your expectation going in, is that it's going to continue and when it doesn't, it is tough. It's tough for an 18 year-old kid. That was difficult for me. Very difficult to accept and to continue to perform in practice and outperform guys that were starting on Saturday. You know, Saturday was the victory dance. We all worked hard and practiced in preparation to go out and beat whoever was on the schedule. At times, it was it was difficult to play for him. But, he helped shaped me into the man I am now and for that, I am grateful.
My Elite Network: Do you have a favorite memory from Penn State?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: There are so many. And to be honest, it's bittersweet for me. But, I would say the National Championship Game. I say it's bittersweet because I had been practicing with the first team a decent amount of time up until two days before the game. They called me off the field and told me that the guy who had been practicing with the second team was going to start. That was painful. I can see that moment as clear as day. But, I still went on and graded out better than anyone else on Special Teams. I had a couple of great tackles. I played good. Real good.
My Elite Network: What about the Indianapolis Colts…a favorite memory?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: Oh, yeah, I do. My favorite game with the Colts was the 1991 game against Green Bay. In the original stadium - it was a typical day in Green Bay. It was snowing and just a mess. I was blessed to be able to play. I started strong side outside back and ended up playing all four. We were banged up and guys were going down. But that's one thing that I had always able to do in my career…play multiple positions. So, I played all four. I played right outside backer, strong side backer, left outside and the weak side backer all in one day. It was great. Best game.
My Elite Network: Has there been one or two people that have influenced your life?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: Throughout my life it has been my faith in God. People talk about falling off the wagon, I made a mistake and I fell off of everything. Every time something didn't go my way, I ended up in a very dark place. But, it was because of my past relationship with God that I was able to get back to that and to become the man that I am today.
As far as who has influenced me, it’s tough to start naming people because inevitably I’m going to leave someone out and so many people have been there for me. Thinking about it, I would say my former basketball coach - probably the best coach I've ever had - Coach Lester. Bob Lester is a celebrated basketball coach in New Jersey. He played a major role in who I am today. And, to be honest, Coach Paterno, in his own way, played a major role. He taught me that if you want to be the person who makes the decision on what your life is going to look like… because it doesn't matter what your talent level is and it doesn't matter what your skill set is… if someone else is the decision maker. You could find yourself on the short end of the list… and I'm determined to not be on the short list.
My Elite Network: Would you say that is your mantra?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: My mantra, absolutely. It’s your actions that make a difference in someone’s life. People are watching you to see how you’re going to handle a situation. It’s up to you on how you respond or act.
My Elite Network: What do you think you bring to other people?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: Very good question. I think my willingness to listen to other people and allow my life experiences to help lead and guide conversations. My life experience - that's not something you can read in a book. I believe I give others knowledge from my experiences of what I’ve overcome.
My Elite Network: In five years, what will we be celebrating with you?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: We would be celebrating the completion of the 40th cabin on the national preserve that we’re part owners of. It’s about 20 minutes from State College, 180 acres of natural preserve for birds. Because it is a preserve it’s an investment opportunity.
My Elite Network: Can you take a moment and tell us about other business or non-profits you are involved with?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: I’ve collaborated with one of my teammates, Blair Thomas, we have a consulting business. Heavily involved in energy - both solar and fuel procurement. We have a sports show called, the Nittany Sports Huddle. But, what's most important to me is the ministry I am involved in, I-Am-Recycling, Inc. We are also working on a few things, hoping to expand. So that's very exciting. I also have a private ministry that works with the formerly incarcerated and disenfranchised or underserved youth populations. I take all the values we just spoke about and incorporate them into the ministry with job development and mentoring our youth as the focus. I've been blessed that later today I am going to speak to a high school football team - that is a huge priority to me. It is always about giving back and sharing with people what God has done in my life.
My Elite Network: September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month; do you have any advice?
Quintus “Q” McDonald: Well it is huge. It is absolutely huge. Men don’t typically want toget checked. We want to be ok. But, prostate cancer is the silent killer. It is so important that we educate ourselves about the symptoms and get early diagnosis. I cannot say I enough that men have to go get checked.