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McDowell announcement brings relief for Spartan football

April 2, 2014

Malik McDowell is finally a Spartan.

Nearly two months after National Signing Day, McDowell tweeted early Wednesday morning that he had sent his signed letter of intent to MSU on Tuesday night.

The announcement brought with it fanfare and a Wednesday afternoon press conference with head coach Mark Dantonio.

According to, the 6-foot-6, 292 pound recruit is Dantonio’s only five-star player in the class, and brings the 2014 recruiting class to 22 players.

This concludes the saga of McDowell, who announced his commitment to the Spartans on National Signing Day, but didn’t officially sign because disagreement with his parents, specifically his mother.

“It was very important that everybody be on the same page when we made this decision,” Dantonio said. “So what I tried to do on my end was sort of just be still. The lines of communication stayed open during the entire process, and I give credit to his mother for doing that. That’s not easy to do.”

Other schools, such as Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State were interested in signing the touted prospect.

Had he not signed, other coaches could have contacted him beginning April 12.

Dantonio said this is one of the best defensive line classes he’s recruited, and everybody has a chance to get on the field, especially McDowell.

“I think Malik will be on the field for us,” he said. “He’s just too big and strong. He can play inside, he can play outside, he can pass rush. Based on what I’ve seen from him in camps and his raw physical ability.”

When McDowell came to camp at MSU, Dantonio said it was his high motor and ability to sustain his energy level throughout every drill that made McDowell a hot prospect for the Spartans.

“I think this is the best place for Malik McDowell,” Dantonio said. “I sincerely think that. But I wanted him to find the best place for him too. I didn’t want it to all be about us.”

Coming off a Rose Bowl victory, expectations are higher this year for MSU even with the loss of key defenders like Max Bullough at linebacker and Isaiah Lewis and Darqueze Dennard in the secondary.


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