Will McDonald announces his return for 2022 season


Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald watches from the sideline against No. 10 Iowa on Sept. 11, 2021.

Matt Belinson

Iowa State’s all-time sack leader isn’t done in Ames just yet.

Will McDonald IV announced his return to the Cyclones on his social media feeds Thursday, looking to add on to a legacy unmatched on the defensive line for the Cyclones in the program’s history.

His 29 sacks is the most in program history, and the fourth most in Big 12 history. He broke his own school record with 11.5 sacks in 2021 — the most by a Cyclone in a single season.

McDonald has put up 34.5 career tackles for loss as well, good for third in Iowa State history.

Keeping in line with his school-best accomplishments on the field, McDonald tied a school record for forced fumbles in a season in 2021 with five, the most in the Big 12 and tying for second in the nation.

The redshirt junior defensive end for the Cyclones has brought havoc upon Big 12 offenses over the last two years, leading the conference in sacks in back-to-back seasons.

McDonald was named Co-Defensive Linemen of the Year with Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah after another historic year in Ames. McDonald was also a First Team All-Big 12 selection for the second-straight season.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end didn’t even start to play football until his sophomore year in high school at Waukesha North High School in Pewaukee, Wis.

In his junior season in high school, he posted 69 tackles, 20.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks. The next year? He put up 61 tackles, 20.0 TFL, 12.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as a senior.

After earning a redshirt in 2018 for the Cyclones, McDonald began the 2019 season at linebacker before switching back to defensive end mid-season.

After his last two seasons in Ames, McDonald has the most sacks in NCAA FBS since 2020 with 22.0