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Brotherly Love: Salem’s McDonald twins cherish time together on the gridiron

‘We used to always watch NFL on TV and my dad was a big football fan, so we used to play flag football.’

Tonight's 1st and 10 Game of the Week features two teams from Region 4D.
Tonight's 1st and 10 Game of the Week features two teams from Region 4D.

SALEM, Va. – At this point in the high school football season, every team has formed a bond or family atmosphere.

In Salem, there’s some true brotherly love with twins Jorden and Jayden McDonald.

They line up opposite each other on defense, while being known for making a splash on offense as well. The McDonald twins love for the game started at an early age, growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“We used to always watch NFL on TV and my dad was a big football fan so we used to play flag football,” said Jorden McDonald.

The family moved to Salem during their middle school years and in their past four seasons as Spartans, they’ve appreciated that it’s not about being better than the other.

“We’re both the same, both the same,” said Jayden McDonald when asked which brother was better at athletics.

“I won’t say who’s better, but we both have our strengths and weaknesses,” Jorden said.

The duo has benefited from feeding off of each other’s strengths, which led to All-State and All-Region honors in 2019 as shutdown defensive backs. And though the twins high school career is approaching its end, they’re playing days are far from over. The two 6-foot-4 towers of power will showcase their talent in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech.

“It’s special because I get to go there with my brother and I know through Virginia Tech history they produce a lot of great DBs to go to the NFL so it’s truly an honor,” Jayden said.

“Virginia Tech was the first school to show us interest and they invited us to all their home games and fell in love with the environment. Once we saw they wanted to offer us, we were happy. It was a dream come true,” said Jorden.

The twins originally committed to the University of Louisiana-Monroe in July 2020 before flipping to Virginia Tech in December.

A mere dream that will soon become a reality for this humble, hard-working duo. But they admit--there’s business to be handled before they take off the Spartans uniform for good.

“We have a mission. We have to win States and that’s been our mission all season long and that’s what we’re pushing for,” Jorden said.

The McDonalds’ impact goes beyond the football field. They also spend time volunteering at church and at other local organizations in Salem and Roanoke Valley.


About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.