I have known Dylan Donohue since he was in the 7th grade. I coached a bunch of 8th grade mercenaries (Peterson, Elledge, Hoorn, Gianetto, Judson, Tevega, Vanderwel, Nobach, Dimaggio and others) that came in and took over the team for which he had played the year before. He could’ve been angry and realized he may not get as much playing time as he did last year. But Dylan did something that has stuck with me all these years later and is an indelible part of his character; he took it as an opportunity to get better.
Donohue took the time out to find my son and talk to him about shotgun & long snapping, both of them taking 10 minutes at the end of every practice throughout the season to practice snapping to each other. A characteristic that is echoed now four years later by Lakewood (Marysville, Wa) Defensive Coordinator Mitch Robbins when describing Donohue “he wants to learn and compete”.
And compete he does!
Donohue plays the 5 technique (outside shoulder of T) DE in Lakewood’s 3-4 defense and when describing Donohue’s defensive responsibilities Robbins had this to say about his athletic lineman.
“Dylan has the speed to cover ground. Some defenses he moves one gap, others he has to move 2 gaps, and other times I ask him to take on the man straight across from him - all of which he can do. "
Robbins states that, “If he (Donohue) had his preferences - I think he'd prefer to take the same guy on all night long and compete 1 on 1. That's his style and mentality. He's not afraid to compete and stick his nose in to a battle.”
That became evident last summer before starting his junior year he made the trip to the Oregon Trench Camp as a virtual unknown. Yeah he walked away as co-MVP of the 1 on 1’s. The two other guys that he was co-MVP with were Connor Humphries who has 2 Pac 12 offers (ASU & OSU) and Portland State commit Justin Outslay. That’s pretty good company.
I like how Donohue gets off the ball quickly with an aggressive nature and an almost palpable (look it up it’s a SAT word) desire to get to the ball as quickly as possible.
Head coach Dan Teeter says Donohue’s strengths are, “He does a very good job using hand fighting techniques and plays with a high energy level and enthusiasm."
Besides a return to the Trench camp Donahue was just at UW’s and is attending WSU’s junior days. The 2nd team all-state DT is interested in Boise State as well. If he keeps up his commitment to get better there will be a number of schools taking notice.
After another playoff run for the Lakewood Cougars there are a few key seniors that graduate this year. However the defense returns the whole front 7 and is only replacing two positions a Safety (Justin Peterson) and another DB (Brandon Stott). I look forward to watching the perennial offensive juggernaut Cougars possibly turning more defensive this next year. If the Cougars do I bet Donohue will be at the center of that defensive surge.
Besides the drive and will to get better Donohue has the versatility and aggression that in his 6’1” – 275lb frame that will make some college defensive line coach happy. Never satisfied the perfectionist in him is always looking to be working to get better and compete with anyone willing to line up in front of him, OT’s in the Cascade take notice you may want to move to WR this spring.