Detroit Loyola class of 2014 defensive lineman Malik McDowell has risen to become a national name in the last six months. A strong performance at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in June helped catapult him to that level, and now he heads into his junior season ready to perform.
The 6-foot-6, 292-pound McDowell played mostly at offensive tackle as a sophomore, but did his damage this off-season from the defensive end spot. He will play both this fall for Loyola and has a lot of confidence going into the season after his spring and summer dominance.
"This season I can't be stopped," McDowell remarked.
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While McDowell does have the size and experience at the position to potentially play offensive tackle in college, he is looking exclusively at the defensive side of the ball at the next level.
Programs like Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, Syracuse and Wisconsin have already extended offers. He has seen several of those campuses, and expects to make return visits to a few this fall.
"I don't know exactly what games I'm going to, but I know I am probably going to go to a Notre Dame game, a Michigan game and a game at Michigan State," McDowell said. "I would have liked to go to that Michigan-Alabama game (in Dallas) but there is no way I would be able to make it to that."
McDowell's last unofficial visit of the summer came in late June when he traveled to South Bend to see Notre Dame.
"It was real fun," McDowell said. "My mom came with me and she really liked the school. They showed me around the campus, the field, Touchdown Jesus and the library."
Despite an early start to his recruitment, McDowell does not expect to make his final decision for at least another year.
"I'm still going to make my decision my senior year," he said. "There are no favorites at this point. Everybody is pretty even still."