The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge was created to bring the top players in the
country together, regardless of class. In the Midwest/Northeast, several of the
top defensive linemen happen to be 2014 prospects, including Detroit Loyola
defensive end Malik McDowell.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound McDowell will join fellow class of 2014 prospects
five-star Kenny Bigelow as the defensive line representatives for the
Although McDowell's name is often mentioned alongside the likes of Hand and
Brown, he is not familiar with his fellow rising junior defensive line stars.
"Truly, I had never heard of them," McDowell said. "I'm not into looking at
"To tell you the truth, I don't watch football that much. It is a sport I can't
watch, I can just play. I have a passion and love football, I just can't watch
other players because it makes me want to get out there and play."
Like Hand and Brown, McDowell has an offer list that exploded this past spring and
caught McDowell by surprise and he is hoping for a little respite from his
"I wish it would slow down a little bit because the attention is a little too
much," McDowell said. "But I'm cool with it."
Although McDowell was not expecting the surge of offers so early in his
recruitment, he is very confident in his abilities. McDowell has very clear
goals going into the event ("To show that I am more dominant than them,") but
knows the level of talent he will face will be unlike anything he has faced thus
"I've got to get off the ball because I'm not used to those offensive linemen's
first step," McDowell said.
McDowell is also adjusting to a growing body. Having just finished his sophomore
year of high school, the Detroit native is still in his formative years and has
seen physical growth just in the last several months. He went from 260 pounds in
February to now more than 280 pounds heading into the Five-Star Challenge.
of that growth is due to an intensified weight room effort. McDowell spends five
days a week in the weight room following a very specific plan, and has increased
his strength. At 280 pounds, though, his natural position of defensive end may
be forfeited for a spot on the interior of the defensive line.
Click Here to view this Link.Either way, McDowell is ready to test himself against the nation's best, both in
his class and across the country. In fact, the anticipation of his arrival in
Atlanta is already starting to build.
"I am anxious," McDowell said. "I know I probably won't be able to go to sleep
the night before."
Mike Farrell's take McDowell is a huge underclassmen who has been mentioned in the same breath and fellow 2014 stud defensive linemen Da'Shawn Hand and Andrew Brown. However, he hasn't been as consistent so far on film or at camps yet to be the five star lock both players from Virginia appear to be. This will be a great test for him to challenge himself next to those two on his own team and for him to see how he can handle bigger, stronger and older offensive linemen.
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