Although he was chosen as a member of the West squad in Friday’s all-star football game, Maumelle defensive end Kendall Donnerson won’t be participating as he is already attending Southeast Missouri State University to prepare for the upcoming football season.
"I just wanted to get up here and get into summer workouts," Donnerson said. "I chose SEMO because they offered me a full ride."
At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Donnerson combines those physical qualities with his athleticism and quickness. Maumelle Coach Mike Buchan coached Darren McFadden and hasn’t seen an athlete like him until Donnerson.
"He is the closest thing to McFadden," Buchan said. "He is almost a freak of nature with his speed, size and strength. He is also really competitive and goes full force all the time and doesn’t take a play off. Sometimes, we have to dial him back in."
Donnerson finished the 2013 season with over 100 tackles and 30 of them from behind the line of scrimmage. At SEMO, he may also work as an outside linebacker. Both of Donnerson’s parents were college athletes with his mother playing basketball and running track at University of the Ozarks and his father playing football at Oklahoma. While his ability comes naturally, he developed his competitiveness. In addition to playing football, he also played basketball for the Hornets although he was thinking about not participating his senior year.
"I just want to win games and hit opponents," Donnerson said. "I decided to go out for basketball because I wanted to help win a state championship."
Maumelle Coach Michael Shook liked Donnerson because he fit into the Hornet’s style of running up and down the court. Shook also noticed Donnerson’s competitiveness and athleticism.
"He is just a freak of nature and has so much explosiveness and was tough to handle," Shook said. "If the guy guarding him was as tall as him then he usually wasn’t as fast. He the guy guarding had the speed then he usually wasn’t as tall. "
Averaging 12.1 points per game, 8.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, Donnerson could have played basketball at a small college but football suited him better. Regardless of what he does, he is going to give his all and wants to win.
"Off the court, he is the most friendly, guy," Shook said. "Get him on the court, and he is the ultimate competitor. He hates to lose more than anyone else."
Donnerson plans on majoring in sports management, but his ultimate goal is to play professional football. He left earlier this month for SEMO is ready for the challenges ahead of him.