Michigan State continued its football success on National Signing Day by getting a verbal commitment from Malik McDowell in front of his classmates and a live video feed that reached over 15,000 viewers.
McDowell, a 6-foot-6, 292 pound defensive lineman from Southfield, Mich is a consensus five-star prospect and the highest rated recruit in the state of Michigan.
“I took a lot of input from my family,” McDowell said following his announcement. “I listened to what they said, but I still had to make my own decision.”
McDowell had received a lot of attention through local and national media after his parents publicly voiced their desire for their son to not attend Michigan State through Detroit newspapers and radio stations.
“We don’t want him at MSU,” Malik’s mother, Joya Crowe, told the Detroit Free Press Monday night. “Something happened, I don’t want to put it out there what it was, but I had a bad experience at MSU.”
Crowe followed that with an interview on Tuesday with Drew Lane on Detroit’s 105.1 expressing why she did not want her son to attend MSU.
As of Wednesday evening MSU has yet to receive McDowell’s letter of intent, with sources saying that he is still trying to convince his mother to sign. However, his father, Greg McDowell, gave his support at the signing event.
“I feel good about the decision,” Greg McDowell said afterward. “My son, he stood up and said, ‘Hey, this is where I want to be.’ And despite my reservations and his mom’s reservations, I fully support my son. He showed me a lot today, he stood firm and didn’t back down from anything.”
While it appeared that both Malik and his father signed a letter of intent at the ceremony, it has been reported by rivals.com that that was only a ceremonial letter and the real one has yet to be signed.
Malik McDowell said that he chose the Spartans because of coach Mark Dantonio.
“He’s the type of coach who is a more serious coach,” McDowell said. “Like the coaches here at Southfield High I’m used to being around.”
“I felt like they (MSU) could get the best out of me.”
Dan Ray is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports