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Michigan State DT Malik McDowell Makes ESPN Preseason All-America Team

“The Spartans' defensive line is now his to control, and the massive athlete will be playing in several spots to wreak as much havoc as possible in opposing backfields.”

Big Ten Championship Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

If the Michigan State Spartans defense is going to play lights out in 2016, defensive tackle Malik McDowell is going to be a big reason why.

The 6-6, 276-pound junior from Detroit is expected to be a key for MSU on defense, and has made ESPN’s preseason All-America team as a result. Here’s what the site’s Dan Murphy had to say about him:

A strong showing in the College Football Playoff launched McDowell's national profile to a new level. The Spartans' defensive line is now his to control, and the massive athlete will be playing in several spots to wreak as much havoc as possible in opposing backfields.

McDowell was named first-team all Big Ten by ESPN last season after recording 41 tackles (13 for a loss) and 4.5 sacks.

The other Big Ten players on the preseason All-America team were Michigan tight end Jake Butt, Ohio State center Pat Elflein and linebacker Raekwon McMillan, and Iowa cornerback Desmond King.