By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – At 6 feet 7 inches and 290 pounds, Southfield defensive lineman Malik McDowell has been pursued by dozens of colleges, Michigan State and Michigan among them, along with the likes of Florida State and Alabama.
McDowell seems interested in Michigan State in particular, and his parents seem totally opposed. According to Malik’s father, Greg, the parents seem to be winning the argument as National Signing Day approaches.
“From when we talked Friday he’s coming around because he knows how adamant we are about him not attending Michigan State,” Malik’s father Greg McDowell told 247 Sports.com. “I don’t have anything bad to say against Michigan State but I don’t think they’re the school for my son. I think the coaches are cool and they’re establishing a good program, but this is my son and I choose to not want him there.
“If he were to choose Michigan State I don’t know what I would do,” McDowell continued. “It is what it is. I just want my son away from this environment and Michigan. I want him out of here.”
Malik’s father cited distractions in Michigan and particularly at Michigan State but said he would be fine with Ohio State (recently sanctioned for the scandal known as “Tattoo-Gate”) or Florida State (winner of the national championship after the 2013 season but embroiled in scandal after quarterback Jameis Winston was accused of rape).
If the father has his way, it sounds like Malik might become a Buckeye. Greg told 247Sports.com that head coach Urban Meyer impressed him, and Greg also sung the praises of defensive line coach Larry Brown.
“I think he’s a great guy,” Greg told the website. “I have a good feel for him. The impact he’d have on Malik’s life on the field and off the field. With him and his background of putting so many guys in the league, and that’s Malik’s dream, and promising me he’ll be on top of Malik’s academics, and they have a good support staff.
“He broke everything down with what he could do for Malik on film, and nobody else has done that with him, and took the time and showed him things about how he’d train him and get him prepared for the next level,” Greg continued. “I think Larry Johnson is a great teacher.”
Ranked by 247sports.com as the 32nd-best recruit in the nation and the No. 1 prospect in the state of Michigan, McDowell is expected to announce his decision at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.