FOOTBALL: Blue-chipper McDowell enrolls at Southfield, ending weeks of rumors
SOUTHFIELD – Quarterbacks in Oakland County beware.
Malik McDowell, the state’s No. 1 college recruit on the prep football field, has landed in Southfield, turning speculation into reality by enrolling at Southfield High School this week for his senior year.
McDowell, a ferocious and raw athlete of a 6-foot-7, 300-pound defensive lineman, attended Detroit Loyola Academy for his first three years of high school, leading the Bulldogs football team to a Catholic League C-D title and an appearance in the Division 7 state championship game as a junior last fall.
From even before the 2012-2013 school year came to a conclusion last month, word was fast to leak out that McDowell was preparing to leave Loyola. Him and his family made little secret that Southfield was the intended destination.
Holding over two dozen elite college scholarship offers – spanning the nation’s prestigious gridiron programs, like Alabama, USC, Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan and Michigan State –, McDowell registered 65 tackles and 16 sacks in 2012. Having the ability to dominate either in the middle or on the end of the defensive line, he had 13 sacks in 2011 as a sophomore.
He still needs to be cleared by the MHSAA to be eligible to suit up for an-already very talented Southfield squad come August. An interview between the MHSAA and McDowell and the Southfield administrators and football stafff is scheduled for later this month.
Southfield features numerous Division I college recruits, including Lawrence Marshall, a defensive end committed to Michigan and considered by many the No. 2 recruit in the state behind McDowell.
Marshall and McDowell are close friends. Recruiting analysts feel the move by McDowell to Southfield to play with Marshall confirms sources that have said since the spring that McDowell is leaning towards joining the Wolverines recruiting class for 2014.
The desire of McDowell to test himself against better competition is another reason believed to have played into his decision to transfer. Southfield is Division 2, compared to Loyola competing five levels down in Division 7.
In his final year at Loyola, McDowell encountered some discipline issues regarding in-school visits with college recruiters, who were flooding into the area to see him ever since his 2012 season ended last Thanksgiving at Ford Field with a loss by the Bulldogs in the state championship game.
On August 30, Southfield will lock horns with back-to-back Division 1 state-champion Detroit Cass Tech in the 2013 season opener at the annual Prep Kickoff Classic, which for the second straight year is set to be held at Wayne State’s Adams Field.