The Dream '14 just missed out on adding another key piece to the class, as Malik McDowell decided to roll with the Spartans of Michigan State.
Malik who had scholarship offers from just about every major college program under the sun chose MSU over the Buckeyes, Florida State and Michigan after officially visiting Columbus over the weekend with his parents.
His mother had spoken out against McDowell going to Michigan State on Detroit sports talk radio yesterday stating that in her estimation McDowell just wanted to go somewhere where he was "comfortable" and also spoke to him "not being mature enough to make this decision". Before today's ceremony, his father said he'd support his son wherever he wanted to go after previously saying he wanted McDowell out of the state.
After transferring from Detroit's Loyola High, McDowell, one of the top defensive lineman and overall recruits in the class of 2014 was selected as a Army All-American after a stellar senior season at Southfield High School.
The 6'7 290-pound McDowell finished the year with 89 total tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles, helping lead Southfield to an overall record of 7-3 and a playoff birth, alongside one time OSU commit and now future Wolverine Lawrence Marshall and a cast of other future division one football players.
Recruiting Analyst Derrell Warren recently took the time to break down the newest Spartan for SB Nation and had the following to say on the five star standout:
"There is no other way to put it-- McDowell is quite literally a huge recruit. Currently listed at 6-7 290 pounds, McDowell has tremendous growth potential considering his upper body is not quite as developed as his lower half and thus can add bulk after a bit of reshaping.
Going over tape of McDowell's final two high school seasons; his snap anticipation is improved, however it's still inconsistent. That said, his burst through the neutral zone is very impressive for a player of his size.
Lined up at defensive tackle, McDowell has a really good quick swim move to the inside. You see him use that several times to penetrate the backfield and bring down ball carriers running into the opposite A-gap. He has a huge trunk area but has room up top to add good weight, and actually has a body type more similar to that of a left tackle.
At this stage, McDowell is more of a waist bender. He plays way too high out of his stance and doesn't shoot his hands out to protect his frame as often as you'd like. These are coachable points, however. Once he starts playing with a lower center of gravity, his natural girth and lower body strength will better allow him to anchor versus the run.
On tape, McDowell is more disruptive operating on the interior than he is at defensive end. There he displays good vision and tracks the ball well, often times making plays well out of his playing area. This is also a testament to his motor. He spends lot of snaps lined up either as a one tech shade nose guard or two technique defensive tackle.
Out on the edge, McDowell has obvious natural power. However, it's questionable as to whether he has the hips to pivot around the edge, the body lean and then explosiveness to be an effective pass rusher lined up that many body lengths away from the ball.
Ultimately, McDowell is a recruit with plenty of size and traits that translate well to the next level. He'll need to have some of the technical flaws coaches out f his game, but when that happens, he figures to develop into a exceptional performer."
As if that wasn't enough, our own Christopher Jason took a look at McDowell's tape and came away with this:
"McDowell is a big-bodied defensive lineman whose motor never stops. He has long arms that create separation with offensive lineman and fights through blocks well. He is very quick for his size, as he gets sideline to sideline rather quickly. I could see him gaining more weight onto his 6'7 frame, becoming even more stout against the run and more violent against opposing offensive linemen. McDowell is a beast and depending on injuries across the defensive line, he could get into the rotation."
If you haven't already, take a few minutes to check out these highlights of Malik McDowell in action: