Hinsdale Central had an outstanding team last year. Among the reasons for their success was the play of Scott McDowell according to head coach Mark DiMatteo.
"Scott is pretty close to 6'-5" and weighs 275 right now. He's a kid that came on for us the second half of last season and became a dominant left tackle."
McDowell explains the midseason improvement.
"Early on there was a senior I was rotating with. He unfortunately had an injury, and that allowed me to play every down. I began to feel more confident, and all that extra work helped me a lot."
What traits make him effective as a lineman?
"Probably athleticism and being able to run down the field and make hustle plays. Also, I have a good grasp of the offense and what I need to do on every play."
DiMatteo expands on McDowell's abilities.
"He's got an outstanding skill set in terms of pass pro. He's developing quite a bit as a run blocker. His flexibility and foot speed have improved greatly in the off season after a lot of hard work.
"Truthfully, some of the credit goes to our offensive line coach Mike Jones, who's done a great job with him. We're expecting big things from Scott. I think he's certainly gonna be one of the best players in our conference in terms of offensive linemen."
McDowell attended the Illinois Spring Game. He has visited a number of schools this spring.
"I've been to a bunch of places. I've been to Iowa, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, Miami of Ohio, Ball State, Western Michigan and Indiana."
Western Michigan and Miami of Ohio have offered him scholarships. Additional ones will come this summer.
"Most of the schools are saying they want to see me at the camps. I'm not really tall like D-1 tackles, so they don't know if I'm a tackle or a guard."
McDowell is still finalizing his camp schedule.
"The ones I'll be going to for sure are the June 5th Iowa camp and the June 25th Northwestern camp. Other than that, I'd like to go to Illinois and Indiana and a couple more to fill out the schedule."
He knows what he's looking for in a college.
"A good academic tradition, but also a competitive football program. One that has a lot of interest around the community and the college. Coaches that are dedicated and helpful who can help me reach my goals as a player and a student.
"And I'd like to be closer to home, but I can be flexible with that. As long as they're in the region so my family can watch some games."
McDowell is planning a major in business or sports management. In the meantime, he is looking forward to his senior season with the Red Devils.
"People know we've lost a couple players, especially John Whitelaw at quarterback. Our o-line is gonna do well. We've got a lot of other good players coming back.
"So I think once we start working together as a team, just keep playing hard and run the ball, I think we will surprise people. Few people realize how good we can really be this year."