MEMPHIS, TENN. --- University of Memphis defensive lineman Clinton McDonald was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals as the 40th pick of the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft today.
A native of Jacksonville, Ark., McDonald lettered four seasons for the Tigers and played in 48 career games. He started 33 games and finished his career with 141 tackles, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. His 141 tackles include 11.5 sacks for minus 81 yards. He had four sacks in the 2008 game versus Arkansas State and that effort tied a school record and ranked tied for the national lead in sacks in a game this season. He also earned Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week accolades after the ASU contest.
As a senior, McDonald was selected to the 2008 Conference USA First Team and was invited to participate in the 84th annual East-West Shrine Game. He started 10 of his 11 games played, and tallied 39 tackles. He led the squad in sacks with seven and was second in TFL with 7.5. He missed two games this past season with an ankle injury he suffered early in the Louisville game. McDonald has served as a captain the last two seasons as voted on by his teammates. He was the first junior to ever be picked as a captain during Coach Tommy West's tenure.
McDonald is the fourth Tiger to be drafted in the last five years, and the 10th since West joined the staff in 2000. Including McDonald, six of the players selected since the 2001 Draft have been defenders. When West was the defensive coordinator in 2000, Idrees Bashir, Michael Stone and Marcus Bell all were picked in the 2001 Draft. Bashir and Stone were drafted in the second round, and Bell was picked up in the fourth round. Other recent Tiger defenders selected were Eric Taylor in the seventh round of the 2004 Draft and Brandon McDonald in the fifth round of the 2007 Draft.