JACKSONVILLE, Ark. — Former Jacksonville Red Devil and current Seattle Seahawk Clinton McDonald hosted his first football camp Wednesday morning at Dupree Park.
The first “Iron Sharpens Iron” football camp was a success for McDonald, with all proceeds going to the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club.
“I would like to have a little more turnout, but God’s will was done and everyone who was here was real responsive and worked hard,” McDonald said. “We got to help some kids today and now I know what to do next year to make it bigger and better.”
McDonald was helped out by Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive end Michael Johnson. Johnson posted 11.5 sacks for the Bengals last season. The Bengals drafted McDonald in the seventh round, while Johnson went in the third round the same year.
“We grew real close coming up as rookies and have stayed friends,” said McDonald. “I go to his camp and when I asked him, he was quick to say yes.
“Mike and all the sponsors helped make this a success. People want to get involved when you’re doing something positive in the community.”
After the Bengals drafted McDonald, he spent his first season on the practice squad before working his way into more and more playing time in the defensive tackle rotation. After being traded two years ago, McDonald immediately stepped into a major defensive tackle role for the Seahawks. Seattle is one of the best defensive teams in the NFL.
“I want these kids to know they can make it with hard work,” McDonald said. “Maybe it won’t be football, but everything involves hard work. Next year we’ll reach more kids. I want to give back to the community and I’m going to keep doing this and make it grow.”