The son of a colonel in the Marine Corps, and a 4.1 GPA student, Dowling isn't focusing on his accomplishments, but rather what he can do to get to the next level.
"Just to be at the level for recruiting I want to be at," he said, "I need to work on my footwork a little bit so I can become both a better pass blocker and run blocker and maybe get those four stars."
Dowling is just as modest when asked about his strengths.
"I've been told that I have good footwork, I'm really athletic, and I finish blocks really well. But I'm really not one to talk about my own glory."
"Academics are huge for me," Dowling said. "My whole life my family has drilled into me that academics come first, then sports. I'm carrying that on to whatever college I choose. UCLA recently offered me, they're a tremendous school academically. Stanford has just started contacting me, they're a really great school. USC is interested, they're also a good school."
Dowling has other goals in sight, like playing football.
"I'm not really closed to any schools that aren't amazing," he said. "I just really want to play football. I really want to go to a school where I can play football and be a really good football player."
While moving every two to three years, with a father in the Marines, has left him open-minded geographically, Dowling had only positive things to say about his visit to nearby San Diego State.
"I went up with my head coach and my father, and we got to walk over to the spring practice and get a tour of the campus," he said. "It was a really good experience. They definitely got after it. I was really surprised at the fact that their practice time was a lot shorter than ours, just because they're so much more efficient. They're a really speedy team, they get a lot done. I really liked that about them."
There are several other schools, nationally, that Dowling is hoping to hear from, but he adds, "I'm just trying to stay grounded right now."
He's off to a good start.