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Minnesota Football: Craig McDonald granted immediate eligibility by NCAA

Good news for the former Auburn defensive back

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Iowa State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s Note: The Pioneer Press’s Andy Greder was the first to report this news.

After getting torched for nearly 400 passing yards in Saturday’s overtime loss to Northwestern, help is on the way for Minnesota’s beleaguered secondary.

The NCAA has approved Auburn transfer defensive back Craig McDonald’s waiver requesting immediate eligibility. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.

The Minneapolis native committed to Iowa State out of high school. As a redshirt freshman with the Cyclones, McDonald played in 13 games, recording 41 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one pass break-up, and two interceptions. He opted to enter the transfer portal and ended up at Auburn, where he played in two games last season before suffering a season-ending injury.

McDonald was originally expected to help out at the nickel position, where Southeastern transfer Jack Henderson has made himself at home. But with how much redshirt sophomore Darius Green and redshirt freshman Aidan Gousby have struggled, he could see more time at safety.