Southfield football star Malik McDowell (DL) isn't on the same page with his parents in terms of his college choice right now. Signing Day is tomorrow, Wednesday, February, 5 (Oakland Press photo file)
FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Family drama swirls around Southfield superstar's decision, McDowell & parents not seeing eye-to-eye
SOUTHFIELD – There looks to be an internal family tug-of-war going on regarding which college football program Southfield All-American Malik McDowell will wind up inking with tomorrow on National Signing Day.
The rabidly sought-after 6-foot-7, 300-pound defensive lineman has narrowed his droves of elite scholarship offers down to four schools; Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State.
According to an article from ESPN.com on Monday, the frontrunner to nab McDowell is defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl-champion Michigan State, his reported late-favorite in the selection process with less than 24 hours to go before his signing ceremony, set to be held Wednesday morning in the Southfield High School library at 9:30 a.m.
If McDowell does indeed pick East Lansing as his future playing destination, it won’t sit well with his parents.
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press Monday evening, McDowell’s mother, Joya Crowe was blunt in her dislike of Michigan State and certain members of the Spartans' coaching staff.
“We don’t want him at MSU,” she said on behalf of her and her husband, Greg McDowell.
She expanded, noting her discomfort with the football team’s defensive line coach, Ron Burton.
“He wants to be a first-round pick (in the NFL Draft) after college. Nothing is guaranteed, but I don’t think their defensive line coach has the background for that.”
Crowe also told the Free Press that for her personally, her son’s official recruiting visit to East Lansing was a “bad experience” and that Michigan State has “too much social life” for her and her husband’s taste.
Greg McDowell told the recruiting website 24/7Sports.com that he desired his son to go out of state for college.
“I want him out of Michigan,” he was quoted as saying.
Concurring with her husband, Crowe remarked, “I agree, I think it’s best if he leaves the state.”
Malik told the Free Press that he “felt most comfortable with Michigan State, but other schools are still in it (the selection process).”
It is possible that he could extend his timetable and not sign with any school Wednesday morning.
McDowell helped lead Southfield to a league championship (OAA White) last fall during a senior campaign where he earned all-state honors for the third straight year, recording 90 tackles and eight sacks. He made a headline-grabbing transfer to Class A Southfield last summer from tiny Detroit Loyola.