Recruiting can often turn into a stressful exercise. Having the sometimes judgmental eye of public glaring at you as you go through it can make it even more so. Despite that, Malik McDowell and his family are giving one final glimpse into the talented youngster’s decision-making process.
At some point during McDowell’s recruitment the five-star defensive end developed an affinity for Michigan State. For a range of reasons mom and dad’s respective preferences went a decidedly different direction. Lately they’ve opened their minds more to the possibility of their offspring venturing away from home for college.
“Greg (i.e. Malik’s father) doesn't really want him far from home,” McDowell’s mother Joya Crowe said. “Of course he wants him close. He just thinks it would be better now if (Malik) left the state to avoid distractions. If (Malik) wanted to stay in-state and go to Michigan, Greg would be fine with that.”
"I don't prefer that (Malik) leave the state. I just prefer that he doesn't go to Michigan State. If he goes to Michigan, of course I'll be okay with that. If he goes to Ohio State, I'll be okay with that too. If he goes to Florida State, I'll be okay with that."
"Just anywhere but Michigan State."
That doesn’t mean McDowell won’t put on a Green & White hat on Wednesday. It just means that he won’t do so without some really intense debate within his circle.
What’s clear at this point is that his alternatives have suddenly become more viable, especially those out of state. Florida State helped itself tremendously during an official visit earlier this month. The same can now be said for Ohio State after McDowell’s official visit to Columbus last weekend.
“Actually (the visit) was excellent,” said Ms. Crowe. “I was impressed with Larry Johnson. He laid it all out. It was awesome! I was like ‘wow!’ I rode around with Urban Meyer and he didn't pressure me. He didn't ask what he needed to do get Malik and I appreciated that. I told him about my bad experience (during a prior visit to Columbus) and he apologized.”
“He seemed really nice.”
So after being on the outside looking in at one point, Ohio State is unquestionably in the thick of the chase.
The leader for McDowell’s services at this point is anyone’s guess… even mom and dad’s.
“We may be like the fans on Wednesday not knowing who he is going to pick,” Ms. Crowe said laughingly. “We’re supposed to sit down as a family tonight and talk about. Right now he still has everyone on the table.”
McDowell is tentatively set to announce his choice Wednesday morning at 10:05 am.