Safety Tevin McDonald has been released from the UCLA football team for a violation of team policy. The junior was suspended for last year’s Holiday Bowl for reportedly failing a third drug test.
Head coach Jim Mora would not confirm whether this most recent violation was the same was the one that sidelined him for the Bruins’ season finale.
“I’m disappointed for Tevin,” Mora said. “I’ve known him since he was a young boy. Probably met him when he was five. I care about him and I hope that everything turns out well for him. He’s got a great family. He’s got very supportive parents, and I know they’ll find the right avenues for him to have success.”
McDonald’s brother T.J. was an All-American safety at USC, and their father, Tim, was a six-time All-Pro at the same position. Tevin started in 24 games over two seasons, and was third on the team with 79 tackles in 2012.
His dismissal leaves the Bruins especially thin in the secondary. UCLA reeled in a star-studded recruiting class for the position group, but none will arrive until fall. Mora said he expects incoming freshmen Tahaan Goodman, Priest Willis, Tyler Foreman and Johnny Johnson to all push for starting spots, adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if all contributed immediately.
Sophomore Randall Goforth and junior Dietrich Riley, who has been cleared for contact since undergoing neck surgery last spring, will be the starting safeties for spring.