Donaldson enrolled at Western Illinois in 2004. He began playing in 2005 as a redshirt freshman, seeing action in eleven games - most of the time as a special team player. He carried the ball only twelve times for 54 yards with a 4.5 per carry average. With a breakthrough season in 2006, Donaldson led the team in rushing with 1,417 yards (6.1) and 18 rushing TDs. He was named All Gateway Conference Second Team RB. In 2007, Donaldson rushed for 1,491 yards (5.8) with 10 TDs, earning a spot on the All Conference's First team. Donaldson is a big, brushing back who likes to pound defenders. A good inside runner, he has a thick build with good leg drive. Although, he is not a great athlete because he does lack speed (4.52). His hands are suspect, causing him to not be a receiving threat. Although strong, Donaldson is not a willing blocker. He needs to shed some pounds and work hard in the workroom. His level of competition is not a concern at this time, but he does tend to take some plays off. A big back with some shortcomings, Donaldson's production and size will grant him a look, most likely in the later stages of the second day. Nevertheless, his lack of speed and pass catching ability will limit his role in the NFL.