Detroit Loyola sophomore defensive end Malik McDowell came into Sunday's Midwest Elite Big Man Camp with modest goals.
"I wanted to prove that I am one of the best players in Michigan," McDowell stated.
By the time McDowell left the Total Sports Complex in Wixom, Mich., people were buzzing about the 6-6, 260-pound defensive end potentially being one of the top players in the country for the class of 2014, let alone his own state.
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McDowell's dominant performance at the Big Man Camp in Wixom, Mich., on Sunday was even more impressive considering he has had little time to work on his game since Loyola's season concluded last fall.
"Right now, basketball is what I am focused on," McDowell said. "And lifting weights."
McDowell dropped 12 points and 14 rebounds the night before Sunday's camp in a varsity game for Loyola, but the weight lifting aspect of McDowell's off-season will be the most important to his overall development as a football player. Although his game and his size suggest a player beyond his years, McDowell's youth comes through in his relatively undeveloped frame.
College coaches have already started sending the form letters McDowell's way. He listed Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and LSU as teams whose letterheads he has seen in his mailbox.
"Michigan, LSU and Alabama - those were my three favorite teams growing up," he said. "I kind of want to stay close to home."
This past fall McDowell attended a home game at Michigan State, but he has paid very little attention to his recruitment beyond that and has not begun to prepare for the wave of college attention that is sure to come his way.
"We haven't talked about it yet," McDowell said, "but I'm just going to listen to my coaches and my parents."