Scout Rating: ****
Scout Rank: 33
Size: 6-2, 260
Hometown: (Covington HS) Covington, LA
Stats: 4.9 40
Projected position at OM: Thud DE
Accolades: HIGH SCHOOL: An Under Armour All-America selection … Registered two tackles and a half sack in the Under Armour All-America game … A consensus 4-star prospect by all the major recruiting services… A first team Class 5A All-State selection by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and a two-time All-Metro pick by The Times-Picayune … Listed No. 15 on The Times-Picayune Nifty 50 … Named the District 6-5A Defensive MVP as a senior after recording 128 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, nine sacks, six pass breakups, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries … Also rushed 24 times for 94 yards and eight touchdowns along with a TD reception as a short-yardage fullback … Helped Covington to the Class 5A state semifinals for the first time since 1987 … Registered 84 tackles, 18 TFLs and 10.5 sacks as a junior … Coached in high school by Greg Salter.
Recruiting Competition: Garrald had his pick of the litter, so to speak. His list included the likes of Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and others. In the end, his decision all boiled down to Ole Miss, LSU, Arkansas and Tennessee as his final four and home state LSU and Ole Miss as his final two. He went with his heart.
Quotable: "It (his decision) was real hard. I have a lot of family and friends who went to LSU. They really wanted me to be a part of their program too, but I just felt at home every time I was up there at Ole Miss. I know I am going to be picked on for choosing Ole Miss around here, but I am a strong person. I am ready for it. I have nothing at all against LSU. It is a great school, but everybody has to do what is best for themselves, and my heart is with Ole Miss."
Scouting Report: First and foremost, Garrald plays with a non-stop motor. Combine that with good feet, natural strength and a low center of gravity and you've got a guy who could be very good off the edge at "thud" end or could put on 20-25 pounds in time and be a very good inside player. According to his high school coach, the best is yet to come from McDowell.
Covington Coach Greg Salter: "Garrald has great feet. He's extremely quick and he uses his hands well," Salter continued. "He's also very instinctive. He reads his keys quickly and reacts quickly. He's a bright player and he has a relentless motor. He never quits."
Coach Hugh Freeze Quote: "There are a number of guys who are 6-2, 260, but we haven't seen many with his motor. This kid is strong, quick and relentless. He never gives up on a play. Some kids are just football players, who know how to play the game and attack it with everything they have. Garrald not only has excellent skills, he is one of those."
Signee Spotlight: Garrald McDowell
Scout Rating: ****