"Coach McDonald came out to my school," Dowels said. "I talked to him before and after practice. We talked about getting me up there on a visit. We talked about the school and the possibility of me going there.
"He told me that DB is a big need for them right now because they have graduating DBs this upcoming year. I just want to get up there and check things out to see if I would fit there."
Dowels and McDonald have been building a relationship for several months.
"When spring started, that's when I started talking to coach McDonald," Dowels said. "He said they were really interested in me. We kept in touch over the summer. When we started the season up, he came down one time. The second time he came down, that's when he offered.
"The contact has been there for a while. We've been building the relationship."
When McDonald saw him in the spring, there were certain skills that stood out to make him a legitimate option for Syracuse.
"They like my cover skills and the way I break on the ball," Dowels said. "Coach McDonald, he's a great coach. He has an eye for talent so when he came to recruit me, I felt blessed with myself. It's an honor to be recruited by such a great university and great coach. He's a man of his word."
Dowels is currently committed to Northern Illinois. Despite that, he is looking forward to his official visit in Central New York.
"January 17th I'll be going out there," Dowels said. "I'm already an NIU commit and I'm going up there next weekend. I'm just going to go up and get a feel for both schools. I'm going to go into them with an open mind because Syracuse is a good opportunity for me.
"Being in the ACC and coming down to play Florida State every other year."
Another plus for the Orange is Dowel's relationship with a current member of Syracuse's 2014 class.
"I'm real good friends with Alin Edouard," Dowels said. "He's a good quarterback and I can see myself even going up to Syracuse with him. He texts me every other week to say, 'Syracuse, Syracuse. That's where you want to be.'
"He keeps me on track with everything I'm going up for my visit with him so it should be fun."