Awards Aplenty For Louisiana Verbal

WVU's latest defensive football committment has racked up a number of honors during his high school career, and his coach tells that more are on the way.

"Fernandez McDowell was a preseason all-Metro New Orleans selection, a two time all-district selection, and an all-Parish selection," head coach Henry Rando said of his defensive star. "He's not done yet - he's getting an award tomorrow night as one of the best three athletes in the city."

McDowell, who played only defense for East Jefferson, is a true two-position player who could help West Virginia at either safety or cornerback.

"I know you hear this all the time, but he could be a true impact player," Rando observerd. "He 's as good as I've coached, and I've been coaching for 34 years. I really believe he can play either safety or cornerback in college. Rich Rodriguez and his staff did a great job in recruiting him, and they got a great player."

Many times when a player is listed at more than one position, it's an indication that coaches aren't quite sure where to play him, as they don't know which position he'll fit best. That's not the case here, as McDowell played, and excelled, at both cornerback and safety in high school, and expects to do the same in college.

"We played him at both positions, and we moved him around to take advantage of him," Rando noted. "We played him at safety against running teams to get him up close to the line, and we played him at cornerback against passing teams."

One of the latter occasions was a matchup against Eddie Brown of Fortier High. Brown, who is being recruited by many SEC schools, was held to one catch for three yards by McDowell.

"His skills are really balanced," Rando sums up. He's very aggressive, and he covers really well. I had coaches come in and watch him that liked him at both positions, so I think he can play either spot at West Virginia."

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