Malik McDowell's Parents Want Him to Take His Talents Out of Michigan

By DJ Byrnes on February 3, 2014 at 12:02p
Malik McDowell

The Detroit-based five-star DE, Malik McDowell, took an official visit to Ohio State this weekend. While the big fellah has drawn weary of the recruitment process, it will all come to an end on Wednesday.

52% of analysts are calling McDowell-to-MSU. 17% are calling for McDowell to Ohio State, up from 4% last week before it was announced McDowell's final official visit would be to Ohio State.

Yet, as we draw closer to Wednesday's signing day, it appears the McDowell house is a bit divided as to what's best for the young McDowell. From

“(He is thinking about) what it’s all going to turn out to be as far as family also,” his father Greg McDowell said. “I feel like he is thinking about my mom, his grandmother — a lot. His mom’s parents are both deceased, so he only has my mom and my father, and my father is disabled. He wants to keep it close to home as far as my mom being able to come see him. Not just on TV. That’s something where he is very thoughtful in that way about her.”

On one hand, Malik McDowell is an apparent family man, and wants to stay close to his family so they can see him play football on Saturdays. That's nothing but admirable. On the other hand, from 24/7:

We’re basically at the same point, his mother and I, as long as he gets away from Michigan we don’t care where he goes. We’ve expressed numerous times all we want is the best for him and seeing him get out of here we think is best. It’s for his future. I just want him to recognize that and hopefully he understands and he will take that into account and say I’m 17 and my parents want the best for me and I’ll jump on board because it’s only three or four years that I’m going to be away, and I want to get to this certain level and be somewhere I can concentrate. You have to be somewhere you have less distractions and be around people that do what you do, go to class, be football players, be a student-athlete. That’s the environment I want him to be around, and not be in close proximity to his friends.

I want him out of Michigan. I don’t care if that’s Ohio State or Florida State.

Yes, teens are renowned for their keen ability of short-sighted thinking. 

Reading between the lines, it appears McDowell's heart is set on Michigan State, but Ohio State would sure seem like a compromise for the McDowell house. (Obviously, no bias here!) 


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LouGroza's picture

This is beginning to look like one big fiasco. Hopefully they get it together and get it right.

M Man's picture

When news of a Malik McDowell official visit to OSU broke, this is what I wrote:

M MAN on 27 JAN 2014 - 9:16PM
This is a really great development.
Michigan has been tortured by the mysterious ups and downs of Malik McDowell's recruiting saga for a year.
It's high time Ohio State suffered along with us.

You're welcome.
Seriously, part of what is so hard about this may be Malik's own personal qualities.  He is by almost all accounts a very quiet, intense, introspective kid who has good self-discipline on social media (you gotta love that in this day and age) and just doesn't give much away, and in a news vacuum -- which the recruiting biz abhors -- and the length of time that this has gone on, well it just gets complicated.  I hope he's a big success wherever he goes.  We'd love to have him at Michigan.

nm_buck's picture

Why would someone DV this post?  +1 MM.  

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

jamesrbrown322's picture

As long as they keep Jones, I'm good. Anyone else is, to me, a very welcome surprise.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

The heart generally wins.

Read my entire screen name....

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Really interesting recruitment. Can't remember parents being this outspoken against a specific school. Feeling better and better about our chances. 

bucknasty13's picture

Landon Collins mom comes to mind.   Wish I could get these images to work.  Also Dr. Anzalone.

Bolt's picture

True, but I always hate this kind of thing when the parents are trying to control where a kid goes when he has his heart set on somewhere else. For his sake I'd rather him go where he believes he'd be happiest. Ideally, he'll decide that'll be Ohio State, lol. 
Seriously though, based on recent quotes I've seen from the father it sounds like there's some sort of toxic situation he wants his son to get as far away from as possible. Not sure if there's some troublesome people he's involved with at home in Detroit or some sort of troublesome situation with a girl at home that his parents aren't happy about...obviously all pure BS speculation on my part, but all I'm saying is the statements coming from his father saying things like he doesn't know what he'd do if his son went to MSU, and he wants him out of state and he doesn't care where make you think what the hell? Strangeness.

Zimmy07's picture

It might be that his parents are just beaten down with what has happened to Detroit.  That city is hurting.  It looks like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel visible but it's probably 1/3 what it used to be in population.

MichiganBuckeye222's picture

The kid lives in Southfield....which is a suburb.
while it is lower income, the schools are still ok.
nobody around detroit is down about the bankruptcy, and we are all seeing positive signs in the mitten state.
hope he ends up at tOSU...seems like a good kid

Representing the Buckeyes in the Mitten State since 1987.


Doc's picture

Mom looked pumped as hell watching Coombs, but Malik looked bored.  Hopefully we get him.  Columbus isn't that far from Detwat.  Either way, kid seems to have his priorities straight.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

buckskin's picture

Not to be a debbie downer, but if that was Malik in that Coombs video,then he is not coming to OSU.  He had that look of "I'm only here because this is what my parents want me to do."  Stinks, but I'm happy if we keep Jamarco.

route4buckeye's picture

Malik never looks happy. Look at pictures from all his visits lol.

House804's picture

If his heart is not in it, I prefer he just go ahead and pick Sparty already.  I wish him the best of luck, but can't see him picking tOSU.

We talkin' bout practice?!  Not the game I love...the game I die for.  Practice?!

Hovenaut's picture

In the mix, and I never thought OSU stood a chance with him.

EwanJobi's picture

If he choses Ohio State, I hope it's because he wants to be here.

acBuckeye's picture

The last thing I want is for him to come to OSU, then regret it. Go with your heart, young man.

oregonianbuckeye's picture

FWIW- Mike Farrell just tweeted
‏@rivalsmike 5m
"If McDowell goes to #Michigan I believe it will be a compromise."

AAStagg's picture

Parents didn't just say they wanted him not to go the MSU.  They want him out of the whole state of Michigan.  [Don't give a damn for it, I guess]
Ann Arbor is close enough to the bad influences near home that I doubt very much the family will 'compromise' on scUM.  Either Malik wins and picks Sparty and the criminal culture near home, or the parents win, he leaves the state and Mom and Dad have a short drive to his games in Columbus and the B1G.  Florida State makes no real sense because it shuts out Mom and Dad., who obviously want to stay in Malik's life these next few years.

Keep calm.  It's only a game.

BlueBayou's picture

Florida State makes sense when you take into account that they have family in Florida and both Malik's parents have talked about moving there if he goes to FSU.  I don't think his parents are going to let him get too far from them no matter where he goes.

BuckeyeQ6's picture

I could have missed it, but I didn't see anything about his parents not wanting him to play in Michigan.  They just said they want him to consider other schools alongside MSU because they're worried he's thinking like an 17 year old.  That said, hopefully the family does like OSU.

tennbuckeye19's picture

His mom commented and called out some of the posters on a story from the Detroit News over the weekend and ended her comment with #sickofthestateofmichigan or something like that.
So yeah, not exactly saying she doesn't want him playing in Michigan, but sounds like she's fed up with the process and so many people that don't even know her or her son making comments and judging them. 

BuckeyeQ6's picture

Oh thanks for the clarification.  I remember seeing that earlier.

BlueBayou's picture

Sources are saying that Malik's parents' desire for him to leave Michigan is based on some bad influences they want him to get away from.  (attributed to some non-football friends he associates with which of course is a reference to Michigan and MSU fans).  This comment has lead others to note some of the twitter handles Malik is following (Hint: The marijuana related ones).
I don't know if any of the above is true.  All I can say is that what used to be a mysterious recruitment with almost no information is now one that is leaking all sorts of supposed morsels. Malik loves the MSU social/party scene, parents very strongly hate MSU, Michigan coaches saying "hey, we like to party too, but remember football" or something like that, Malik's mom's public spat with fans on the interweb, his parents want him away from bad influences, ..... What is next?
I will say, I feel for the kid and his family and the difficulty this process appears to be putting them through.  I hope Malik and his family are happy wherever he ultimately decides, and he ends up being in a place that helps him to be successful. 

DJ Byrnes's picture

I've updated the story with a more direct quote from McDowell's father since 24/7 made their story free.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

buckskin's picture

Malik is playing on the team; not his mom or dad.  I believe in a strong family; but he's 18 and you have to trust you raised him right and allow him to make his own choices, right or wrong.  I think we can all agree if his heart is not set on OSU, he needs to go elsewhere.  That would be the best for this young man.

PittBuckeye's picture

I am totally fine with being the compromise. 

osu07asu10's picture

I for one appreciate the way his parents are involved in his recruitment. I don't think it is for personal reasons (Papa Henderson) and they aren't dictating where their son plays (paging Dr. Anzalone...) 
I think they are imploring him to make an informed decision and obviously parents have an opinion and as we see probably for different reasons.
At the end of the day for Malik, I hope he chooses the school that is right for him and that his family fully supports his decision.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

sivaDavis's picture

The last thing you want is a player that doesn't have his head and heart 100% committed to you. 

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

BUCKfutter's picture

I think if the family is viewed as being overbearing or a potential problem (see the Davonte Neal saga a couple years back) Urban wouldn't hesitate to pull the plug.  I'm just happy we will have some nothing-to-lose (McDowell) suspense and not just an "I hope we don't lose anybody" (Jones) signing day.

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

buckz4evr's picture

The kid has a strong support system.  They know him better than anyone and the situations around him. If they feel he is making a bad judgment on what he wants to do with his life it is their responsibility to be very involved with those decisions. I don't find that overbearing and I don't think Urban does either. 

Buckeye Chuck's picture

"Bad judgment" is a relative term here. McDowell isn't trying to decide between playing college football and joining a cult; he's choosing from among several schools who are all looking to give him a free education. In such cases, parents can offer opinions, but it's not their lives in the final analysis.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

buckz4evr's picture

Just because he is being offered several scholarships, doesn't mean they are all good choices. 

BierStube's picture

Gotta do what is right for MM .. that being said, the young man is part of a family and I am sure has friends .. all will weigh to a certain extent on his or any other young mans (or woman) decision.
With this in mind:

On one hand, Malik McDowell is an apparent family man, and wants to stay close to his family so they can see him play football on Saturdays.

The Buckeye games are always on TV or available on the interwebs!

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

Braxton2Devin's picture

I just hope that he actually will enjoy and try his hardest here at OSU if he does choose to come here (because of his parents)

pabdublin78's picture

The more I read the comments and think about it, the more I go back to Birm's comments about heart versus head in making the decision.   I get the strong vibe that his heart is with MSU.  If that's true then that's where he should go.  
As much as I'd love him to be a Buckeye, if his heart is not 100% in it, it's a mistake...

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Advising 18-year olds to "go with your heart" can be a bit dicey.
When I was a young college student, my heart told me to study Roman history, read everything except what was assigned in my courses, drink beer almost every night of the week, skip all the "boring" classes, and try to hook up with just about every chick that crossed my path.

Oyster's picture

Is there a point you were going to make with this post?

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

JozyMozy's picture

To ~reminisce~. Don't kill his vibe, brah.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm questioning the idea that following your heart is a consistently reliable guide, especially for young adults.
Many times when our hearts are inclined in a certain direction, our heads and other factors are also pointing in that same direction. So, in retrospect we'll say, "I followed my heart," neglecting to mention that we also followed our head and other factors were propelling us in that certain direction.
Sort of like the lady who says, "I always wanted to be an actress, so I followed my heart." Sure, her heart was in it, but it also mattered a great deal that her parents raised her in the arts, that she had tremendous acting talent, that she had relatively good prospects of success in the business, etc.
But what about when one's heart is saying go with A, one's head says B, and one's social "infrastructure" is saying C? In that scenario, when the heart is boldly standing alone, it's not clear that "going with the heart" is such a clear cut winner. That's really what I was getting at.

bergy22's picture

Wanted to go into sports journalism. Parents talked me out of it and I am a year away from graduating with a pharmD. Sometimes parents know best.

FitzBuck's picture

Don't work for Rite aid.  Trust me they treat the pharmacists like indentured servants.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

Boxley's picture

Soooo, Run Fido Run,when are you going to get to the bad choices?

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

cuttyrock's picture

I say follow parents. I remember Chris Spielman story. He told his dad " I think I like Michigan," his dad replies "your going to The Ohio State University" the rest is history.

FitzBuck's picture

If he doesn't want to come here he shouldn't.  Kids that do that tend to transfer or don't live up to their potential because they are unhappy.  Tell your parents what you want and what's going to happen because it's your life and you have to live with the decisions you make.
With that said I hope you want to be a buckeye.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

Boxley's picture

That's the advice you would give to your kids in making a huge decision that will affect their life?
You give your kids every bit of information and wisdom that you have. You help them make a very adult decision. As a parent if they decide to go ahead and do something that you know is going to be bad for them, you keep at them with all that you have, BECAUSE you are their parents and you have only their best interest at heart. Nearly all kids have no foresight on life decisions this big.
You have no vested interest in your kids decision that is anything but is what is good for them, not some school colors, or a state or an agent. You help them because it is your duty to keep them safe and help them make wise decisions, until they can do so on their own. That does not stop at 17-18 years, there is no magic number age wise that says, oh you are now OLD enough to make wise decisions all on your own,, see ya.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

Hockey Buck's picture

One must always listen to Mom.

Jugdish's picture

Remember Malik: "Those who leave will be champions".

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

EwanJobi's picture

The negative influence of friends staying in Michigan definitely adds an interesting twist to his decision. It sounds like following his heart could get him into trouble.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Maybe his friends will do like Matt Damon's buddies in Good Will Hunting and tell him to get the hell out of Beantown/TSUN:

Chuckie: Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way but, in 20 years if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my [the big] house, watchin' the Patriots [Skunkweasles or Sparty] games, [still] workin' construction [on your General Studies degree], I'll fuckin' kill ya. That's not a threat, that's a fact, I'll fuckin' kill ya.

DJ Byrnes's picture

We all need friends like Chuckie.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

FitzBuck's picture

We all need friends like Chuckie.

DJ wanna play?

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

bleedscarlet's picture

plus one for the Goodwill Hunting reference.

Slingin' swag since 1970


jaybuckeye16's picture

So is he announcing on TV Wed morning?


gm3jones's picture

Yes, but the time is TBA.. Looks like it will be after 4pm tho.

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

Mortc15's picture

This kid's recruitment is one big mess. I just hope that if he does come to Columbus, it's because he genuinely wants to, not because it's a 'compromise' with his parents. I don't want players that don't whole-heartedly want to be part of the program.


MikeEagleBuckeye's picture

It seems like Ohio State would be the obvious compromise for all the parties involved.  Whether or not his heart is in Columbus is a different question, but at the same time, with MM keeping his recruitment so close to vest, how do we know his heart is in East Lansing?  We still have no real details on how his OV went except for the generic "he was impressed" spiel.  I would like to believe that he's a Buckeye, but I don't think anyone will be able to make a prediction that isn't a gut feeling on where he will end up until Wednesday morning.

ibuck's picture

If this is a kid who wants to smoke dope, drink and party, I would hope Urban gives the schollie to a senior walkon. The Buckeyes have seen enough "drama" the last few years. 
OTOH, If he wants to work hard, get his degree, maybe play in the NFL, then welcome, young man.
BTW, if he's 17, not 18, don't his folks have to sign his LOI ?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

BlueBayou's picture

You have to be somewhere you have less distractions

I don't mean this as anything against the McDowells, but am I the only one that thinks that this line of thinking is a little naive?  College for a normal student is one big distraction let alone an athlete.  Can he move farther away from his current friends?  Yeah, but if those friends are the type of people he prefers to hang out with, then he will be able to easily find more friends like that, or find some other distractions to replace them with.  Just because he will be in a football program doesn't mean his teammates are the only people he will hang out with.  It all comes down to a player's judgment, and none of his final four are going to act as babysitters.  At a certain point he will have to be accountable for his decisions.  Maybe the present is the best time to start by letting him choose where he wants to go.  As a parent, sometimes you have to let go and let your child make their own choices.  Inevitably some of those choices will be mistakes and that is when you come in to help them pick themselves up.  (Of course ideally they don't make a mistake, but we all do).  Again though, I wish he and his family nothing but the best and hope they make whatever decision is best for him/them.  I do not envy them.

buckz4evr's picture

At least at college, he shares similar goals with the friends he will make.  Those goals not only include partying, but getting to the NFL or a getting a degree.

ChazBuckeye's picture

I really hope he chooses OSU but my gut tells me he's going to stay close for one reason or another.  I surely hope my gut feeling is SO off!  That'd be cool.

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

Iwearmocs's picture

I'll be honest, I'm not sure I want a guy who's coming here as a "compromise" no matter how talented he is.  Its one thing to make sure of your decision, but if you're not on board, your gonna be gone sooner or later under Urban.

HolyBuckeyeOSU's picture

My thoughts - Someone better tell his parents it doesn't matter where he goes at this point, Malik will run into the same kind of people, extraciriculars no matter where he goes, OSU, FSU, MSU, UM, Toledo, Cleveland State, Alabama IT Tech, the same kind of surroundings will come out from much as I love to rag on UM, I won't sit here and tell you those same people or temptations are NOT in Columbus, Ohio
I actually feel sorry for the kid that this decision is turning out to be harder than it really should be...its almost as if Malik's parents don't trust their son to make good decisions...he is 18, bad decisions are expected, it is how you learn from stupidity and mistakes that will make Malik a better person and make better choices in the future!

Go Buckeyes! 

BlueBayou's picture

Holybukeyeosu, I agree with you.  This is kind of what I was thinking as well.

ColoradoBuck's picture

Unless Malik would have serious issues at MSU that he wouldn't have elsewhere, and I can hardly think of any possibilities that would fulfill that requirement, his parents should relent and let him choose Sparty.
But hey, if he ends up in Columbus, I won't be complaining.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Here's my translation from dad's comments:
Your friends are a bunch of knucklehead morons who will follow you to Ann Arbor or East Lansing and either live there and enroll in a nearby community college or basically live there by coming for a long, four-year weekend and never leaving. They will smoke dope when you're studying, get drunk when you have to get in shape, bang groupies on your couch, use you for entry into bars, drop your name all over the place, bitch about your lack of playing time as a freshmen and tell you you're better than Bosa and Spence combined. They'll fail out of school themselves or never actually enroll. They're losers. If you go to FSU or OSU, it will be more difficult for them to do this.
We want what's more difficult for them.
It sucks to hear this, I know.

bucknasty13's picture

11w staff... Can we ban the "taking my talents" phrase?

Silver Bullet 10's picture

I agree, but unless it's: I will be taking my talents to The Ohio State University.  

BroJim's picture

We will all know soon enough

I season my simple food with hunger

Knarcisi's picture

McDowell's father was heard to say it was about perspective:
"The whole state of Michigan smells. Your just have to leave once to notice it. I went to Toledo once. It gave me perspective. I just want more for my son."

brband64's picture


"Maybe the Big Ten is not that bad. Maybe it's pretty damn good.'' ~ Urban Meyer

+1 HS
ATXbucknut's picture

Update from Detroit paper...

“Something happened, I don’t want to put it out there what it was,” she said of her son’s recent official visit, “but I had a bad experience at MSU.”
Asked to elaborate, she said: “It was something on my end, I don’t want to get into specifics.”
Crowe said she and Malik’s father, Greg McDowell, also fear “too much social life” at MSU.
“I want him to get a good education,” Crowe said. “Not that he can’t get a good education at MSU. But he also wants to be a first-round pick after college. Nothing is guaranteed, but I don’t think their defensive line coach has the background for that.”

bucknut94's picture

Josh Helmholdt, recruiting analyst, updated his prediction  on twitter today after talking to Malik and predicted Malik will be a Buckeye. Sorry but I don't know how to post a link because of my computer deficit disorder.

Crimson's picture
bucknut94's picture

Thanks for the help crimson.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Sports Illustrated

Malik McDowell, DE, Detroit: It's become a soap opera for this elite pass-rusher whose parents publicly said this week they want him to go out-of-state, not to Michigan State. McDowell's mother became turned off by the Spartans after she overheard her son have a conversation with current players about not going to class, according to a source close to the situation. McDowell took an official visit to Ohio State last weekend, but if he makes his own decision, Michigan State is still very much in the hunt. Should McDowell's parents have the final say, watch out for the Florida State, which believes it has won over both mom and dad.