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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: McDowell, mom get on same page, Southfield All-American signs with MSU

By: Scott Burnstein, April 2, 2014, 8:00 am

And it’s official.

The pen was put to paper at last.

Local prep football superstar Malik McDowell is finally a Michigan State Spartan.

Southfield’s All-American 6-foot-7, 300-pound mammoth defensive lineman, and his mother both signed his National Letter of Intent Tuesday night and sent it via fax to the Michigan State football office and head coach Mark Dantonio, ending almost two months of drama and anticipation.

McDowell made it known he expected to ink with the Spartans back in February at the National Signing Day ceremony held at his school, however, because of a dispute with his mother, Joya Crowe, over his decision, the letter of intent remained unsigned until this week. The letter needs a co-signature from a player’s legal guardian to be valid.

It was a situation that gained heavy media attention and garnered speculation that he might end up at another one of his final choices (Michigan, Ohio State or Florida State). Crowe and McDowell’s father, Greg, each did interviews with news outlets in the days leading up to signing day and expressed their reservations about their son going to Michigan State and their desire that he instead go to Ohio State or Florida State – anywhere but East Lansing. Specifically, Crowe unveiled her displeasure with Michigan State’s campus for being "too social" and its coaching staff, questioning its ability to get Malik to the NFL.

Considered the top player in the state on the defensive side of the ball, McDowell collected 90 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior last fall, following averaging 15 quarterback takedowns his prior two seasons.

He was reported to be very tormented over the disagreement with his parents. While his dad appeared by his side during his signing-day announcement festivities in February, Crowe skipped the event.

Judging by his Twitter account, McDowell is thrilled everything is all sorted out.

“Letter was signed and faxed last night, I am officially a Spartan Dawg!” he tweeted.

Dantonio took to Twitter as well to express his excitement about finally getting McDowell in the fold.

“Big decision for the McDowell family and all involved..I think Malik will be on the field for us (in the fall)… he’s too big, strong and fast (not to be)," the MSU sideline general wrote.