Southfield (Mich.) High five-star defensive lineman Malik McDowell is finished with all five official visits and less than 48 hours away from announcing his college decision on National Signing Day Wednesday morning at his school.
McDowell has a final four of Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
The 6-foot-7, 290-pound McDowell favors Michigan State.
His parents would like to see him at Florida State or Ohio State.
“As far as me and his mom are concerned, I think everyone knows where we stand,” Greg McDowell, Malik’s father said on Monday morning. “I already know what Malik’s decision would be. We may not be as close as we need to be right now as far as deciding the actual place.
“We’re basically at the same point, his mother and I, as long as he gets away from Michigan we don’t care where he goes. We’ve expressed numerous times all we want is the best for him and seeing him get out of here we think is best. It’s for his future. I just want him to recognize that and hopefully he understands and he will take that into account and say I’m 17 and my parents want the best for me and I’ll jump on board because it’s only three or four years that I’m going to be away, and I want to get to this certain level and be somewhere I can concentrate. You have to be somewhere you have less distractions and be around people that do what you do, go to class, be football players, be a student-athlete. That’s the environment I want him to be around, and not be in close proximity to his friends.
“I want him out of Michigan. I don’t care if that’s Ohio State or Florida State.”
Ranked as the nation’s No. 2 strong-side defensive end, McDowell is also still considering Michigan. Talks about the Spartans are starting to shift towards other schools.
“From when we talked Friday he’s coming around because he knows how adamant we are about him not attending Michigan State,” the elder McDowell said. “I don’t have anything bad to say against Michigan State but I don’t think they’re the school for my son. I think the coaches are cool and they’re establishing a good program, but this is my son and I choose to not want him there. If he were to choose Michigan State I don’t know what I would do. It is what it is. I just want my son away from this environment and Michigan. I want him out of here.”
McDowell took his official visit to Florida State the weekend of Jan. 17 and was down at Ohio State this past weekend.
“If he had to choose between those two that would be a hard choice for him,” Greg said. “He hasn’t expressed that to me, which one he likes more. Being down at both schools he enjoyed himself at both schools. He’s feeling the pressure. On Wednesday hopefully he’ll make the right choice for himself and the family as well.”
A U.S. Army All-American, McDowell visited Ohio State with his mother for the Penn State game during the fall but this was their first in-depth look at the program in Columbus.
“It was a great visit,” the elder McDowell said. “I’ve been on two official visits. One was just for one day (Michigan State). At Ohio State, just everything about them, especially Larry Johnson, the guy who would be his position coach. I think he’s a great guy. I have a good feel for him. The impact he’d have on Malik’s life on the field and off the field. With him and his background of putting so many guys in the league, and that’s Malik’s dream, and promising me he’ll be on top of Malik’s academics, and they have a good support staff. I just think with Larry Johnson, he broke everything down with what he could do for Malik on film, and nobody else has done that with him, and took the time and showed him things about how he’d train him and get him prepared for the next level. I think Larry Johnson is a great teacher.”
More than Larry Johnson stood out at Ohio State over the weekend.
“I got to talk to Archie Griffin, that was great meeting him,” Greg said. “The two-time Heisman winner, the only one ever, that was a big opportunity. Malik didn’t know who he was, that was before his time. That was a nice moment to meet him.
“Urban Meyer was cool he seemed to be a genuine dude. He stands up for his players. Overall the feeling I got, he’s a family man and everyone loves him down there. Personally I think he’s alright. Two days isn’t enough to know anybody, but for the two days I was there, I genuinely feel he was pretty good cat.”
The younger McDowell talked to his dad about the visit before they headed back home to watch the Super Bowl.
“He just said he had a good time,” Greg said. “Right before we left and we were still at the football facility in Coach Urban’s offices, and he expressed that he liked everything about it. He thought the staff was cool and he had a good time hanging out with the players and he liked it.”