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Malik McDowell Commits to Michigan State

Concluding one of the strangest recruitments in recent memory involving the Spartans, top-100 recruit Malik McDowell chose the Spartans over Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida State.

Most of us have had disagreements with our parent or parents before.  Fewer of us have had those disagreements discussed in public. I think it's a safe bet that none of us have had said disagreements written about in the Detroit Free Press, ESPN, and countless other websites (including this one!)

It's been well-known for the past few days that McDowell's parents want him going anywhere but Michigan State. Regardless, he chose the Spartans over Michigan, Ohio State, and the defending national champions, Florida State.  Here's Mcdowell's recruiting rankings.

  • 247Sports Composite - #32 Overall, #3 Strong-Side Defensive End, #1 in Michigan
  • 247Sports - #38 Overall, #2 Strong-Side Defensive End, #1 in Michigan
  • Scout - 5 stars, #7 Defensive End
  • Rivals - #26 Overall, #2 Strong-Side Defensive End, #1 in Michigan
  • ESPN - #60 Overall, #5 Defensive Tackle, #2 in Michigan
McDowell now becomes the best recruit in this class in terms of what the services think.  We've probably had our fill of the drama surrounding the commitment this week, so let's take a brief look at what the defensive end out of Detroit can do for the Spartans:
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 a two technique defensive tackle.
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 coached out of his game, but when that happens, he figures to develop into an exceptional performer. His highest defensive projection is likely as an interior lineman. However, his ceiling might be highest as an offensive tackle.

While the Spartans could use immediate help on the line with starters Fou Fonoti, Blake Treadwell, and Dan France leaving, the defensive line will need some bodies as well -- Micajah Reynolds and Tyler Hoover have both graduated, along with Denzel Drone. I don't think he's going to snatch either of the starting positions away from Marcus Rush or Shilique Calhoun, but should provide some excellent competition in the two-deep for Joel Heath, Jamal Lyles, and Damon Knox, if Dantonio decided to try McDowell at defensive tackle (at 6'7", 290 lbs., he has the size, and that before he starts work under Mannie).

While things are undoubtedly going to be tense among his parents and him for a while, hopefully this situation can be resolved and Malik can start on his way to being a great player. Welcome aboard!