FFE SPOTLIGHT: Salem’s McDonald brothers use ‘twin powers’ to solidify Spartans’ secondary

Jorden, Jayden and Salem teammate Zavione Wood committed to Louisiana Monroe together this summer.
Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 10:04 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - The connection between Salem football’s McDonald brothers is undeniable.

“It’s, like, weird," said Jorden McDonald. "You could call it ‘twin powers,’ I guess. We basically get our strength from each other.”

And strength has been the theme of this year for seniors Jorden and Jayden, who, during the pandemic, each put on 25 pounds of muscle in three months in their makeshift home gym.

“It was easy for us," said Jayden. "We would be competitive towards each other, but in a fun way.”

That bond they share now, though, wasn’t always there growing up. Those "twin powers” were brought out by the football field.

“When we were younger, we weren’t the best of friends," said Jorden. "We always got into fights and stuff.”

“It was a little rocky," Jayden said. "We weren’t really like that, but going through experiences with each other, we’ve grown to love each other more.”

“We came a long way," added Jorden. "And when football came, we always encourage each other, push each other, so it basically played a big role in our relationship.”

Spartans head coach Don Holter said coaching identical twins is a unique experience. He started telling them apart by the color of their hair, but now notices the differences in their personalities and how they carry themselves.

“They have a competitive spirit and they compete with one another, but they also encourage one another, and it’s fun to watch as a coach,” said Holter.

While training together, the twins used social media to show off their progress, drawing the attention of college coaches in a recruitment process unlike any they could have imagined.

“It started out slow," said Jorden. "We started getting some offers and stuff, and then we’d have times when we’d just blow up.”

And this summer, Jorden, Jayden and teammate Zavione Wood made it a Salem trio of commitments to Louisiana Monroe, fulfilling a dream they’ve shared for years.

“We were always talking about, when we were in here when we were freshmen, we always wanted to play in college together, and we saw the opportunity, so we took it,” Jorden said.

“The thing about freshman year of how we were thinking about playing at the same college, to now when we can, it’s just amazing,” said Wood.

The Spartans came up just short of a title game appearance in 2019, and all three ULM commits plan to help avenge that loss this spring for a Salem football team that’s more like a brotherhood.

“We stay collected, we stay together, we push each other and we strive for greatness," said Jorden. "That’s what we do.”

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