The Wyandotte (Mich.) Roosevelt senior accepted a preferred walk-on spot offered on his official visit to East Lansing this weekend.
"It was a dream come true," he said. "I wish it was a scholarship, but I'm still on the team, so I will take it."
The 6-foot-1 wide receiver, who previously committed to Grand Valley State, grew up a fan of the Spartans, so it was a natural fit for him when the chance arose.
"I think the big factor that it's been my dream to play Big Ten football at Michigan State," he said. "That was the main reason. Then of course the coaches and the campus itself I loved it.
"Going on my official, I knew this was the place I wanted to play at."
He said his official visit over the weekend was great and he loved seeing the campus.
"The greatest thing was just seeing the field," he said. "It was covered in snow, but from the press box it was just unreal."
Sowards was hosted by MSU wide receiver Tres Barksdale, one of three former walk-ons who recently were given scholarships.
"Tres said if I work hard that a scholarship can come and I believe it would come sooner not later," Sowards said.
Sowards, who teamed with 2016 wide receiver Donnie Corley at Roosevelt, had 17 touchdowns and 1,045 yards on 44 catches as a senior.
"This year we moved from a pro-style to a spread team," he said. "I did a lot of bubbles and Donnie was on the outside so we made a good one-two punch.
"They couldn't double-team both of us. It worked for us well."
He was named to the all-state team for Divisions 1 and 2 as a senior.