McDowell, Allen named freshman all-americans

Pair of Spartans honored by The Football Writers Association of America as contributors in their first year

Half of the true freshmen that played for Michigan State this season were honored by The Football Writers Association of America on Wednesday.

Offensive lineman Brian Allen and defensive tackle Malik McDowell were named to the to the FWAA All-America team.

Allen played in 12 of 13 games, starting at left guard against Wyoming.

“Strong and extremely intelligent, Brian Allen continues to work hard at getting better,” offensive line coach Mark Staten said in a statement. “He is a perfectionist, who focuses on winning each individual battle while helping the team get the ‘W.’ Regardless of the success he had this year, Brian never looked at it as being good enough. His ability to play left and right guard as well as center – all in the same game – didn’t slow him down.”

One of the most highly touted players coming into the Big Ten last season, McDowell made his first start in the Cotton Bowl. He finished the season with 15 tackles, including 1.5 sacks.

“Malik McDowell has the physical ability to become a dominant defensive lineman at this level,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “Malik continued to develop as a player throughout the season and played a lot of quality minutes down the stretch and eventually earned a spot in the starting lineup against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. He has the size and strength to be an impact player on the defensive front.”

The pair was joined by Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, Michigan offensive lineman Mason Cole, Rutgers defensive lineman Kemoko Turay and Nebraska punt returner De’Mornay Pierson-El as the six Big Ten players honored.

Allen and McDowell joined linebacker Chris Frey and safety Montae Nicholson as the only four true freshmen to letter for Michigan State in 2014.


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