Spartan Pupdate is gaining momentum

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Talking with the second Dowell twin, a 2016 in-state standout and a 2015 long snapper from Ohio.

2015 Cleveland St. Edward's running back Andrew Dowell has been making the camp circuit with his twin brother, David, this summer, but his experience at Michigan State had a little something extra.

"Michigan State was really cool because we picked up Toledo offers, so that was a great Father's Day present," Andrew Dowell said.

Also hitting up camps at Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, Pitt and Northwestern, Dowell said he has seen the momentum start to build in his recruitment.

"It's going well so far, I have a little momentum going, picking up Toledo and Kent State," he said. "I was honored by those offers, but need to keep working and keep the momentum going."

At Michigan State, the twins took part in what was mostly a seniors-only camp, but still drew attention from the coaches.

"(Coach Dave) Warner told me he was keeping an eye on me and I was making some plays," he said. "I talked to him before we left and we met Mark Dantonio, so they will be following us this year."

The 6-foot, 195-pound running back kept his eye on a former Spartan running back through his career in the green and white, too.

"I followed Le'Veon Bell, because he also was an Ohio guy," Dowell said. "I followed him through his career and really liked how they used him as a bigger back."

As for when it comes time to choose a college, Andrew said staying with his brother would be ideal, but not a necessity.

"We would like to play together," Dowell said. "We always push each other, but if it doesn't work out that way, it is okay, but it would be much easier for family and all if it worked out that way."

(Read my interview with David Dowell from last week here.)

-- One of the players with an inside track on being among the best in-state talent in 2016 is Farmington wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick, who recently picked up his first three offers, took his first visit to Michigan State on Wednesday.

"My visit went really well," he said. "I met with Coach (Terry) Samuel for about 3 hours. I toured the football facility and we covered a ton of football stuff. We went over coverages, routes, offensive and defensive schemes, techniques and some other stuff.

"I got a chance to see what it's like to prepare like a college athlete. He seemed to be really impressed with my football IQ and my knowledge of my position."

Fitzpatrick, who started both way on JV last season at Farmington Hills Harrison, hit the camp scene hard this summer, going on a bus tour with Rising Stars Recruiting, which featured stops at Tennessee, Maryland, Old Dominion and Ohio State.

"I did well at all of the camps and will be visiting all of the schools," Fitzpatrick said. "Ohio State and Maryland are really interested in me and, I think, I may get a Maryland offer soon."

After his first offer came from a camp at Indiana, Fitzpatrick earned offers from Toledo and Ohio after the Ohio State stop of the tour.

He said that he and his father will be back to Michigan State again and there are some connections between him and the Spartans.

"Coach Samuel said that I can come to as many games as I want this year," he said. "So, me and my dad are going to make it to a few games.

"I also know Edwin Baker. I used to workout with his high school team at Oak Park when I was younger, so I used to pull for MSU when he was playing. My 7 on 7 teammate, Matt Sokol just committed to MSU, which is kinda cool."

The 5-foot-11, 170 pound receiver said despite growing up a Michigan fan, he is open to any schools in his recruitment and isn't playing favorites, adding he really liked Samuel and was happy at the possibility of a Michigan State offer.

"Coach Samuel said some really cool things about my game and said that they are going to definitely offer me soon," Fitzpatrick said. "Maybe the second game of the season or so. He just wants to see a varsity game or two.

"I will pretty excited when I get an MSU offer."

-- Having a scholarship long snapper has become important for many schools in recent years, enough so that Michigan State offered a spot to current sophomore Taybor Pepper late in the 2012 class.

Looking ahead to the 2015 class, Michigan State already has offered a long snapper in Columbus (Ohio) Worthington's Liam McCullough, who camped in East Lansing.

"I had emailed Coach (Mark) Staten before the camp and sent him my info and highlights," McCullough said. "He said they were very interested and excited to see me at camp."

The coaches paid close attention to the 6-foot-2, 205-pound rising junior and saw enough.

"They picked me as the top long snapper and took me on a tour and told me they were going to offer me," he said. "A couple days later, I called Coach Staten and then talked with Coach Dantonio and he said he was impressed and offered me a scholarship."

While he hasn't been to a game in East Lansing, that is in his plans this fall.

"I have watched Michigan State on TV and I really like the atmosphere," he said. "I like the team, they have been successful now and in the past. I am impressed as a whole by the team and the coaching staff."

McCullough said he got into long snapping in the fifth grade when his team needed someone and he stepped up, and kept going. When he hit high school, the varsity coach wanted to see him snap and gave him the starting spot on varsity as a freshman -- just the second freshman to start on varsity in school history.

He also has an early offer from Wisconsin and Ohio State has offered a preferred walk-on spot, which would turn into a scholarship when the current LS graduates.

He is planning to major in pre-med and is looking to take his time in his recruitment.

"I am looking to wait and take some visits and get a feel for everything and do academic research," McCullough said. "I will be playing football, but for the other three quarters of the year, I won't be."

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