As a high school quarterback from New Orleans, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at the High School All-American combine. He was rated as the top athlete in the nation in high school football after his senior seasons.
Noil’s production at Karr High School in New Orleans backed that up. As a senior he passed for 2,235 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also ran the ball for 1,345 yards and 20 touchdowns.
At Texas A&M, the Aggies put his athleticism to work as a wide receiver. Noil’s freshman year in 2014 he caught 46 passes for 583 yards and 5 touchdowns. That turned out to be his best season with the Aggies. He caught 21 passes for 325 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2016 as a junior and entered the NFL draft the following spring.
Noil wasn’t picked in the NFL draft. He was signed as a free agent by the Seattle Seahawks and later spent time in the CFL.
Andrew McDonald’s pro football record shows more teams than games played. From 2012 to 2016 he was signed by the Dolphins, Panthers, Seahawks, Colts, Browns, Chargers and Texans. During that stretch his only playing time came in two games with Seattle in 2014.
Houston cut McDonald in 2016 and he hasn’t been on a roster since.
But that’s just the football part of his life. He was diagnosed with cancer – and beat it. He spent two years and ministry school in Indiana and might go back and finish that when his football career is over for good.
For the moment, McDonald’s life is focused on football again, specifically on San Antonio Commanders training camp.
“First week goes by quick,” said McDonald, a 6-foot-5, 314-pound offensive lineman. “Man, it’s so good to get back into it. It’s been awhile. Two years since I’ve been back. But man so good.
“All the camaraderie of the teammates, actually putting on pads, hitting people. It’s a good feeling. I feel like we’ve really bonded together.”
McDonald started every game at left tackle for Indiana University his junior and senior seasons – 2010 and 2011.
With the Commanders, he is currently seeing more time right tackle but also working some at the other positions on the offensive line. As part of a new team, he is part of a group that is trying to come together quickly.
“Everybody is new so we’ve all got to really learn each other, find what kind of people we are,” McDonald said. “You’ve got to be able to trust the teammate next to you, especially offensive line.
“It’s working out. Everybody here on the offensive line, I love them. We’re a pretty tight knit group. Obviously you’ve got to take steps, but it’s coming along pretty well.”