Tevin McDonald flying under the radar

By the way some UCLA football players have been talking, true freshman defensive back Tevin McDonald is the best player you've never heard about.

Junior safety Rahim Moore thinks so.

"He’s one of my favorites, he reminds me of Brandon Meriweather when he was at Miami, that same stature," Moore said. "He knows the game. He’s polished."

Sophomore cornerback Aaron Hester thinks so, too.

"He's ready to play, I'm going to put it like that," Hester said. "Whether he plays or not is up to the coaches, but just seeing him in drills, he's ready to play. He was born and bred to be a DB."

Secondary coach Tim Hundley isn't ready to be as bold.

"I don't know," Hundley said. "His movement is good, somewhere between what a corner might have and what a safety might have. We'll see how he does, but until the bullets start flying, it's hard to say."

McDonald, the brother of USC sophomore safety T.J. McDonald, credits his preparation at Edison High School (Fresno, Calif.) for allowing him to pick up Chuck Bullough's defense.

"Most of this is about what you know," McDonald said. "When you get to this level, everyone has the same amount of talent. We ran a lot of similar stuff in high school, we had the same verbage."

McDonald has seen time at free safety, but acknowledged he could also be used as a corner in nickel packages.

"I'll go in wherever I fit in, as long as I get on the field," he said.