Alabama and Florida received official visits from him just a few months ago, and LSU head coach Les Miles took a trip to Michigan in the slam-busy recruiting month of January to try to woo him. Several SEC schools obviously thought they had a chance. Tennessee and Mississippi State also had offered scholarships.
And up until late Tuesday night, those SEC schools actually did have a chance to land four-star defensive end Malik McDowell–at least in theory. See, though he was committed to Michigan State, he hadn’t submitted have a completed letter of intent to the school because he’s not 18 years old yet and his mother refused to sign the LOI with the Spartans. She wanted him to check out his other options. Ohio State and Florida State were two other options, as were the SEC trio … and technically, he could have ended up somewhere other than Michigan State.
Well, at 11:12 p.m. last night, he finally put it all to rest and faxed in his LOI, he Tweeted early this morning.
The way things work with this process, McDowell could wait until the end of the national signing period (which was Tuesday–April 1–at midnight). What many people don’t realize is that football players can sign any time between the first Wednesday in February until April 1. Most choose to get it over with and lock it in the first day–thus the hoopla surrounding national signing day in February. Few wait, but McDowell didn’t have a choice because his mother wanted him to look around some more.
He may be 6-foot-7, 290 pounds and can make quarterbacks cry … but mom is still the boss.
McDowell said all along though that he would eventually end up at Michigan State. And frankly, he turns 18 before fall drills start … so he could have just waited things out and shown up on campus, signed a scholarship agreement with the Spartans, and gotten on the field. It’s a looser agreement, but works just the same. He would not have needed his mother’s signature to go that route. Of course, on the flip side–at least for Michigan State–is he could have showed up on any campus, not just Michigan State’s. That’s what Ohio State, Florida and the SEC schools would have liked.
McDowell officially committed to the Spartans on national signing day, and it actually appeared that he signed and it was all squared away. But again, his mother–Joya Crowe–didn’t put her name on the dotted line and by the end of the day, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio still couldn’t publicly comment about McDowell because he still officially wasn’t part of the program. Well, Dantonio also Tweeted this morning that the LOI has been received.
An interesting end to a recruiting saga. Better luck next time, SEC teams. Or maybe … just maybe … you wouldn’t have wanted to deal with this headache?