Recently, McDowell started working out at the Hype Recreation Center in Dearborn, Mich., to improve his athleticism, strength and agility with goal in mind when he finally reaches college.
"I want to start as a true freshman in college," he said.
At 6-foot-6, 280-pounds, McDowell certainly has the size to do it, and will only get more flexible and athletic, said HYPE athletic trainer, John Vickers.
"Malik is big. That's one thing, he's huge," Vickers said. "He's one of the biggest kids I have ever seen in my life. He moves really well for a kid being that big. Overall, we're really just going to try to increase his athleticism, make him jump higher, jump faster, really teach him how to run. And how to move properly and efficiently. Typically the best athletes are the most efficient athletes. It's all about efficiency, being more athletic, being able to jump higher, run faster, hit somebody harder."
Rated a four-star prospect and No. 4 defensive end in the latest Scout.com player rankings, McDowell is already being courted by some of the top schools in the country.
"Michigan came up (to my school), their defensive coordinator (Greg Mattsion) came," McDowell said. "Michigan State (coach Mark) Dantonio came, USC came down, Florida came down, and Ohio State, that was all last week … and Penn State."
How exactly did the conversation go with the Michigan coaching staff?
"We didn't talk much," McDowell said. "From what my coach told me, they told him is they want me down there real bad. Come up there just to spend the day watching a basketball game, that's pretty much it."
While McDowell has been to Ann Arbor for football games in the past, he has never had an opportunity to spend a full day on campus with the Michigan coaching staff.
"Nothing really in particular, just see the campus a little more," McDowell said regarding his next visit to Michigan. "We got up there a little late the last time I got up there. And there was lot of traffic, so I didn't get the full day of just being around the coaches and everything."
In the meantime, McDowell says he plans on attending the Michigan State basketball game when they host the Wolverines this Tuesday.
A really important factor in McDowell's recruitment is the relationships he builds with his college coaching staff, he said.
"It's very important," McDowell exclaimed. "I'm still going to have my coach to talk too. But I need somebody that can support me like five minutes away while I am on campus."
While McDowell's college suitors will most likely increase during the course of the next year, he says he's having a hard time trimming down his list of college's he wants to attend.
"No, I can't say that. I am starting to try to slim them down right now. But it's still kind of hard, ‘cause every coach is cool and everything like that," he said.
McDowell said there are only two factors he is looking at when he chooses a college program.
"Getting an education and winning, pretty much," he said.
As far as a decision timeline, McDowell said he will take his time over the next recruiting year.
"I am going to make a decision closer to signing day, probably at the Under Armour game or the Army game, whichever one I decide to go to," he said.