April 8, 2012

McDowell starting to blow up

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Follow Noon | Rowland | Givler | Birmingham


ANN ARBOR, Michigan - In the Midwest in the 2014 class, the hottest name on the recruiting scene right now is Detroit (Mich.) Loyola defensive end Malik McDowell. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound prospect has grabbed a few big offers already and is hearing from some of the nation's top programs.



"Michigan, Syracuse, Ohio State (have offered)," said McDowell. "Michigan State said they were going to offer probably when I come to their spring game. Alabama, LSU, Iowa, there's a lot of schools (that are showing interest)."


The Buckeyes offered McDowell about a week ago and though the big pass rusher did grow up a Michigan fan, he also admits to following the Buckeyes.


"I was happy," he said, of the offer. "I liked Ohio State as a child too. I didn't know it was coming, they had only sent me like one letter so it pretty much came out of nowhere. I was happy about it. I'm going to their camp in June."


McDowell added that he hasn't spoken to any members of the Ohio State coaching staff yet. With contact being limited this early in the process, McDowell has allowed the people around him to handle things so far.


"College coaches really don't talk to me," he said. "They talk to my (high school) coach or my parents."


On Saturday McDowell was arguably the top underclassman performer at the Adidas Invitational camp up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. McDowell wasn't unhappy with his performance but at the same time is never satisfied and understands that he has room for improvement.


"I think I did good, I wish I could have got more reps," said McDowell. "I know I didn't lose but it wasn't as smooth as I would have liked it to have been."


After creating a buzz early in the winter with an outstanding camp performance, McDowell came into Saturday looking to prove that it wasn't a fluke.


"I'm trying to prove to myself that I'm as good as everyone says I am," he said. "It's not pressure to me. Everybody says it is but it's not really pressure to me."


As a sophomore, McDowell had a big season, registering 12.5 sacks. The expectations have been raised as a junior and he's hoping to clean up some of his mistakes.


"I could have done better with the sacks," he said. "My coach said I missed around eight sacks that I could have made. I'm working on learning to control myself when I get (into the backfield). I get so excited that sometimes I miss the play."


McDowell added that he will be attending spring games at both Michigan and Michigan State this month.




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