National signing day is just a day away, and there are still several prospects in the Rivals 100 who have yet to make a decision. One of those prospects is five-star defensive lineman Malik McDowell – the No. 26 overall prospect in the nation.
According to Rivals, the 6-foot-6, 292-pound McDowell, a native of Southfield, Michigan, is down to four schools: Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State.
McDowell officially visited Ohio State last weekend and took officials to Michigan State and Florida State the previous two weekends and has had positive things to say about each school. McDowell, while mentioning that the other three schools are still in the running, told Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt in a video interview that he feels the most comfortable with the Spartans.
His parents, on the other hand, do not feel that way.
“We don’t want him at MSU,” Malik’s mother, Joya Crowe, told the Detroit Free Press Monday night. “Something happened, I don’t to put it out there what it was, but I had a bad experience at MSU.”
Crowe did not get into specifics about the incident about what happened at her son’s recent official visit, but said that “it was something on (her) end.”
Crowe and Malik’s father, Greg McDowell, also said they fear there would be “too much social life” at Michigan State. Crowe told the Free Press she would be OK with her son choosing Michigan -- who got McDowell's final in-home visit on Friday -- but they would prefer him to attend a school out of state.
“I want him to get a good education,” Crowe said. “Not that he can’t get a good education at MSU. But he also wants to be a first-round pick after college. Nothing is guaranteed, but I don’t think their defensive line coach has the background for that.”
Ron Burton, MSU’s defensive line coach who played four seasons in the NFL, just finished his first season in East Lansing and helped defensive end Shilique Calhoun develop into a second-team All-American, so those comments are somewhat puzzling.
McDowell mentioned Burton and several other coaches when describing what he liked about MSU.
“I like a lot about the Spartans. I like Coach (Dantonio), Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and Coach Burton a lot, and Coach (Terry) Samuel too. Just the team atmosphere, I like the school atmosphere. Just the overall school, pretty much,” McDowell told Rivals.
McDowell said that his trip to Ohio State was "fun," but added that it was a "late trip" and that he hasn't gotten to the Buckeyes staff -- outside of head coach Urban Meyer and defensive line coach Larry Johnson -- as well as other schools.
Concerning Florida State, McDowell said that the players made him "feel real comfortable" while on his visit and that the coaches were "energetic."
McDowell is slated to announce his decision at 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and Crowe said the choice could still potentially be Michigan State.
“Anything is possible,” she said. “I hope not but it’s possible. It’ll be one of the hats on the table. I hope he makes the right decision.”
- - -
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football