McDowell has established relationships

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With ties in the Southeastern Conference already as a former defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia and fresh off a job with the Auburn Tigers as a secondary coach, Tennessee Volunteers defensive backs coach Willie Martinez has hit the recruiting trail running.

Numerous recruits have mentioned Martinez and their already-established relationship carrying over to the Orange & White.

"Coach Martinez and I have been together since my sophomore year when he was at Auburn," McDowell told "He was recruiting me then and now that he has transferred over, that bound that we have just transferred over.

Tennessee defensive backs coach Willie Martinez was recruiting McDowell during his time at Auburn.
(Danny Parker/
"It is a great thing still being connected with him even though he moved from school to school. It is still good to be around him. He is a great guy to be with."

McDowell, a 6-foot-2, 203 pounder, is one of the top safety prospects in the 2014 class with offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio State and Tennessee among others.

The Locust Grove, Ga., native was very impressed with what the Vols had to offer on his first unofficial visit to Knoxville.

"Everything was great," he said. "I got to sit down and talk with my coaches a little more —Coach Martinez, Coach (Butch) Jones, I talked to them a lot more. I got to talk with Coach (John) Jancek too. I just enjoyed getting to spend some time with those guys and seeing how I fit in the next four or five years."

McDowell likes Jones' vision for the Tennessee program and was impressed with what he has been able to get done in just a few short months on The Hill.

"It was really impressive," he said. "What he has done just being here for a little while — he is doing some great things with the program and he is going to get things back on track here."

McDowell mentioned Florida State, Georgia Tech and Ohio State among schools who are recruiting him the hardest thus far, but he left Knoxville impressed with many aspects of Tennessee including the education program.

"The education program definitely sticks out to me," he said. "Also, your family has their own section right next to the field for the game. That is really cool. Then after the game where you meet up with them. All that is unique instead of being out in the middle of all the fans. Being in that lounge with them is really cool."

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