The Malik McDowell Saga Continues, Visits Likely

By DJ Byrnes on February 10, 2014 at 1:03p
Greg McDowell, father of Michigan State football commit Malik McDowell, signs paperwork at his son's national signing day press conference at Southfield High School on Wednesday. It's not known what documents were signed, but the Spartans have yet to receive a signed national letter of intent or Big Ten tender document. (Katie Bailey l
Greg McDowell, father of Michigan State football commit Malik McDowell, signs paperwork at his son's national signing day press conference at Southfield High School last Wednesday. (Katie Bailey l

Malik McDowell, a five-star DE from Detroit, announced during last week's National Signing Day that he would be attending Michigan State.

This did not go over well with his parents, especially Mama McDowell, who is adamant her son will not attend Michigan State. Welp, per Rivals, the most bizarre recruitment story in 2014 has taken another twist:

"I know he is open to taking some unofficials to Florida State and Ohio State," Greg McDowell said. "We plan on doing some unofficials and see if he and his mom can resolve this. It's possible she'll be open to Michigan State as well, so we'll have to see."

Greg McDowell also noted that Michigan is still in the picture, and conversations are ongoing with all three finalists he did not pick on National Signing Day.

"One thing I have to say about those schools is after hearing everything, they were calling -- not on the recruiting aspect, but calling to see if the family was all right," Greg McDowell said. 

The McDowells have really run an entry-level course on how not to handle your son's recruitment. Obviously a player of McDowell's talents would be welcomed with open arms in Columbus, but a family divided is never a good thing.

McDowell could also wait out his mom and still end up at Michigan State without her consent by simply signing a financial aid agreement later this year.

Hopefully the McDowell hostage situation is resolved soon, but Greg McDowell says they'd like to have this cleared up by... the end of March.


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FROMTHE18's picture

as I've said before on this subject, he has made his decision…his mom really needs to stop the foolishness and sign the paperwork. 

+10 HS
Sebastian's picture

Let the kid go to Msu

+2 HS
Killer nuts's picture

I hope he ends up happy wherever he lands and if it is in Columbus I will welcome him just like the rest of our recruits and cheer for him just as loud

BuckeyeLaw's picture

At least MM is being an adult and making a decision for himself. What a shame that his mother is acting like the child in this situation. I would love to see MM in S&G but if he doesn't want to be here, we wish you the best of luck! 

On the flip side, I understand his mother's concerns about his education and hope MM can find both scholastic and athletic success no matter where he goes. There aren't a lot of B1G schools that DON'T excel academically. 

OSU 2011 - Toledo Law 2014

HighBallAce's picture

In all fairness to his mother, no one has come out to say what it is that his mother saw at Michigan State that made her change her opinion of the school. Everyone assumed it was cause some of the students said he wouldn't have to attend class' or something of an academic nature but no one know's for sure. Only the McDowell's and God. So before you start saying his mother is immature, maybe you should give the situation a chance to play itself out first.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Man. Don't get me wrong, Malik is a talented player and having him in Columbus would be great, but everything points to his heart being set on MSU. At this point I'm not sure that's gonna change by taking more visits.

+4 HS
allinosu's picture

You obviously don't know the whole story. She is doing what every parent should do and that is looking out for her son. The only reason he can come up with going to MSU is that he is comfortable. She says that translate into hanging with his friends and partying. She said he got lazy and feels entitled since all the coaches blew smoke up his rear about him being so great. She knows her son will take the easy way out and was told by his friends on campus he did not have to worry about going to class which really pissed her off. She wants him to get his diploma but if the NFL is his destiny then she shot down the guys at the radio station with facts that OSU and FSU have a better tract record for that. They thought they knew what she was all about and completely changed their minds after the interview. She contends whether it's the NFL or an education MSU falls short and she will give if he can tell her anything other than comfortable. Obviously can't. Kudos to her for not caring what we all think.

+35 HS
USMC11917's picture

This is the most enlightening and refereshing point of view on the subject that I have read since this saga began. Thanks for posting.

+3 HS
FitzBuck's picture

Agreed.  Very nice summary.  Making mistakes and learning from them is life.  She's trying to protect him but sometimes you need to let them screw up.  I hope they can move past this and not have a strained relationship.

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

EDUGOON's picture

Ok, so say we get MM.....Then what? Are we not at our limit? This kid is uber talented but If he doesn't want to be in Columbus, then he doesn't want to be in Columbus period. The grass is clearly greener on our side from every angle. Education,NFL, Coaching etc....I'd rather have my recruits on the up tick, not a down swing! #GOBUCKS

"We Don't Believe You, You Need More People"- Hova #GOBUCKS #FreeElGuapo #Famthik

+2 HS
BAR43's picture

He is very talented but I just do see how anyone benefits if he ends up going anywhere but MSU. I for one will be fine with him not coming to OSU. If he is unhappy, what is his motivation going to be to succeed. It would be wasted talent, wasted scholarship for someone who wants to be here. All around it is best for him to just go to MSU. Not sure what his mothers distain is about all this, but it better be something significant for her to act like this. Feel bad for te kid.

+2 HS
allinosu's picture

His mother did her homework. She can tell you Burtons whole coaching experience which didn't add up to her. She knows ours and FSU by heart as well as academics.  This isn't a mother trying to hold on to her son since she wants him to go farther away to school.

+15 HS
FitzBuck's picture

More compelling than "LSU Tigers are #1"


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

+1 HS
teddyballgame's picture

Obviously there's a reason why her signature is required, and it's not so that if she disagrees strongly then she signs anyway.  That doesn't make any sense.

Hold off on judgment guys, because we're on the outside looking in.  We don't know her, Malik, or his friends at all.  She may be earning mother of the year award right now for all we know.  I do think it's kind of refreshing to see a parent put their foot down when they have a say in a situation where they feel their son/daughter is about to make a big mistake.  I think too many parents these days try to be their kid's best friend and worry about being liked. 

For some reason I think he'll end up at UM.  I've always viewed them as the "compromise school" in this situation.  Malik would be relatively close to his family/friends in Michigan, but UM can offer academics that his mother respects.

+14 HS
allinosu's picture

By what I've been reading all week and what's happened today I would put my money on us. Dad wants us pretty bad and mom seems to favor us a little over FSU. Of course he may want FSU to get far away. Dad hates MU. Just a feeling.

+7 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

Thanks for all the info on this ALLINOSU. +1

 I'm glad you seem to have a good handle on more of the specifics of the situation. 

AngryWoody's picture

I feel so bad for Malik. His mom has really taken what was supposed to be one of the best moments of his young life and turned it into an absolute circus. Honestly, I really would love him to be at OSU but if his heart is with MSU that's where he should be. I don't want him in Columbus if his whole heart isn't in it, for his sake.

Our Honor Defend!

-1 HS
toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

No happy faces in that photo. You can tell the family is not in agreement where he should go to college.

OSUpawn's picture

I think for the mother to stand firm on her stance of MSU, tells us that she is worried for her son.  If it was just a decision on where to play football and where to get an education she wouldn't stop him.  Seems like she is worried about a crowed/group.  Sometimes a 17-18 years old kid could have "tunnel vision".  I am not a parent but if I had to choose between something my child wants or making them hate me but keeping them on the right path, the decision is easy. 

I hope the McDowell family can work things out. 

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

+9 HS
AJW_16's picture

As Johnny and Michael said in last week's Dubcast, it's sad to see a families personal laundry aired for everyone to see. I hope it gets resolved soon. The dude wants to go to MSU, so hopefully he can get the support from his parents for the decision he thinks is best for him.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

RunEddieRun1983's picture

Wow, unreal.  Come on Mama McDowell, take a breath and stop ruining your sons moment.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

-8 HS
elffir's picture

As as been said before, we don't know why she's doing what she's doing.  Maybe she's meddling unnecessarily, or maybe she has solid reasons.   Not to pick on you particularly, RunEddie, but some people seem to be projecting their own "Mama" (if you must) issues...

+2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

What is more important his 'moment' or his future?

+3 HS
Grayskullsession's picture

This whole saga is getting pretty pathetic and depressing.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

-5 HS
CharlieBuckeye's picture

Wow.. Is all I can say. When I was his age I was blessed with parents who (1) Allowed me to gather information on my own and then speak with them regarding upcoming decisions. (2) After speaking with them they allowed me to make a decision on a direction to take and backed me 100% - They called it growing up, wanted the best for me and see where my decisions led me. 

Sometimes my decisions came back and bit me in the ass.  Other times they worked out for the best.  It is called LIFE.  Parents have to realize they cannot protect kids all of the time and kids need to be able make their own decisions to see where they lead.

I hope the young man and his family can come to a consensus which allows Malik to attend the university he TRULY wants to attend. 




"To have a great life simply follow this rule:  Do not bring undo conflict into your life..."

Charlie Baker - OSU - 1986

-1 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Is McDowell really that special of a player that the staff would take the drama?  Would he come in and compete or would he just be at OSU because his mom wouldn't let him go to MSU?

BassDropper's picture

Would be hilarious if Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State all backed off of this recruitment.


-3 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Why would that be hilarious?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+4 HS
BassDropper's picture

because the kid (who is an adult) will get to make HIS decision, making the meltdown with his mother that much better.


-4 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

He's 17. He's not considered an adult.

making the meltdown with his mother that much better.

Yeah, the potential destruction of a family is downright hilarious. -_-

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+2 HS
BassDropper's picture

Yea you're totally missing the point. You could care less about the McDowell family like the rest of the world. Stop trying to act holier than thou


-1 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I'm also not taking pleasure in watching them be torn apart.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

If his mother really did have a bad experience at MSU, and sees it as a dangerous place for her son, and has the foresight to see that it could prevent him from accomplishing his goals (and not her goals for him) then she is doing the right thing.

Why is it, though, that she is required to sign the LOI?  Is he not 18 or is that not a factor?  You can join the army without a parent's signature, which is a much more significant decision than which Division I school to play football for free at.  Just my thoughts...

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

Agreed but he can go without her signature and get enough financial aid to keep his cost very low if not all of it. Michigan state doesn't want this because transferring rules do not apply and he can transfer anytime he wants without sitting out. 

+1 HS
buckeyestu's picture

 Perhaps his mother is looking out for his well being, I can understand letting the young man do as he pleases, however, many people that age have blinders on. I know that when I was that age I made some poor decisions based on doing what I wanted to do, and I disregarded advice, that I should have taken. I think the first thing that is important is education, that is the reason for the existence of college. Choose a college for education and then go about playing sports, does that make sense?

+4 HS
tae1986's picture

It's mind boggling some people are still attacking Malik's mom. She knows her son better than any of us and probably has better idea what's best for him. It's not like some other kids' mom wanting her son to go to her favorite school or her alma mater. If I'm not wrong, I think she went to Michigan so her favoring tOSU is not for her sake.

Also, some people asking her to let him live his life and make his own mistakes, we have no right to tell her how to raise her 5* kid.

Some mistakes are so costly, especially when you have so much potential to do great things, his mom does not want her son to go through that. Look at Bryce Brown, or even our own MoC, if they had Malik's mom on their side, who know what could they've done with all their talent. (No disrespect to Bryce Brown, MoC, or their family and people around them, but they made some mistakes that could be easily called "F%*K UPS" so to speak)

Remind yourself, Nobody built like you, You designed yourself.

+10 HS
VestedInterest's picture

I find it unimaginable that people without having been a parent have such strong opinions regarding Mom's involvement here. While you may think you know what it's like and what "it should" be like, you simply have no clue. As a father of five ranging in age from 20's to teens, I feel amply qualified to voice an opinion on the subject, however, I can't. I don't know Malik like his mother does. I can tell you this though, I have kids that I have every belief they will weigh their decisions carefully, make those decisions and live with the consequences both good and bad. I have other kids who would make those decisions haphazardly, fall flat on their faces and blame someone else lol, no amount of "parenting" can steer all in the right direction.

Every person is unique, each have their strong and weak points, none of us here are in a position to say what's right and wrong in this situation. I'll say this though, at least Mom here is doing HER due diligence to make certain it's all been thought through by their family, Malik will likely thank her one day.

+10 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Regardless of where MM goes to school, lets just hope he remains in the Big 10. We need to keep these athletes in the region.

+1 HS
steveoz49's picture

This is just a very unfortunate situation for the entire family.  It's to the point where I can only wish the kid and his family the best of luck on whatever decision is made amongst them.  On one hand, I am rooting for the kid to be able to go where he wants.  On the other hand, as a parent, you should always have your children's best interest in the forefront.

+1 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

While these types of family conflict probably happen more often than we think, the tragedy here is that the whole situation has been so public. Most of us can keep our issues internal, but this one spiraled out of control. Whatever the result, a lot of healing will need to happen.

+1 HS
DefendYoungstown's picture

Props to the kid going to YSU...

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

+1 HS
ITWASME's picture

Personally I think the mom is doing the right thing. This is coming from a kid who is 16 only 1 year younger than MM! I know if I was going to pick a college and my parents were vehemently opposed to that college because they thought I'd get in trouble I'd definitely listen to them! I'm sure everybody has had plenty of moments where they have made a bad choice that their parents warned them about and it came back and bit y'all in the ass. This could potentially be that but one of the most important decisions of the kids life! Screwing this up isn't just some learning experience it's a major life decision that should be a correct one at all costs or else the kids life could be screwed up. In my opinion if MM's mom is doing this to help him avoid messing his life up with this choice then she's just being a great parent. I'd still love McDowell here if he comes and hope he does. GO BUCKS!

+5 HS
Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

You Sir have just won the internet today. For only being 16 and being able to see this situation the way you have expressed you are truly wise beyond your years. We need more kids with this type of maturity and insight. I was really beginning to think all of humanity was starting to take a turn for the worst and that the youth of today seemed lost and highly misguided. Just wanted to say Thanks for that breath of fresh air.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

+1 HS
gravey's picture

I didn't attend OSU my freshman year.  It was a very bad mistake.  I didn't know jack about college - and just went where I was courted by coaches.  I wish someone would have challenged me to seriously think about what I was doing - I would have wound up at Ohio State earlier because I would have done the proper research on careers and education.   

It isn't an easy decision and one never knows until you spend some time at a school before you have some idea if you made a good decision....and you may never know if it was the best decision.

So to recap: just go to Ohio State - it's the world's best destination.


+1 HS
Boxley's picture

As a father of four sons,I can tell you, from a significant pool of life experience, kids need guidance. All of my sons were very much interested in doing their own thing, but as that fell flat on them on more than a few occasions they started asking me for advice, not always listening, but asking for it none the same.

After getting burnt a few times they started listening a lot better, and now respect that what I talked with them about was done so from a perspective of the decision without it being a personal influence. They learned that smart people make smart choices after reviewing the facts, not ignoring them. A decision of any importance needs weighed from all perspectives.

 In MM's case this decision will shape his future significantly. his mother, the one person on this earth who knows him better than anyone, including himself, is so concenred with what she has seen/perceived at MSU. She knows from her life experience raising him, that it is not in his best interest to go there. No one on this board, or in the media, or his school has better insight on this issue than she does.

For all of you on this board saying she should stop "interfering" you have no right to say that from your knowledge of the situation over that of her lifetime of raising her son. If you have never been a parent, you really have no idea what she is going through and has been though raising her son.

I guarantee that she knows what is best for her son over any one of us.


"...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

+3 HS
MGM85's picture

Only 2nd post on your fantastic sight... one of your founding fathers sent me the invite. For transparency, I am a Spartan grad, who grew up a mich fan in the 70's/80's in a2. We grew up 1/2 mile from the stadium and were fanatic, and never understand anyone rooting for MSU or going there. Until I became older and found it to be a better cultural fit. Ironically, my folks moved to dublin, and i spend all my breaks in C-bus, and worked as a developer for 3 yrs in cbus in the early 90's and even married a buckeye.

Back to reason for the post...From a few of my southfield buddies, MM mom was the same as all of us who grew up in the shadow of the school and never ever changed her opin. For the past 3-4 years she always believed her son would don the mazie and blue. The fact that um has been a mess and msu has had upward trajectory has obviously impacted the your man. MM recruitment is not just about this young man, but a signal in SE Mich that um has lost the foothold of their top 5 pipeline schools. I will give credit to um and their surrogates; webb, beaver,huge, etc. They have better relationships with the parents than any other local or national especially Webb. There ultimate goal is to get the kid to um, and if does not go there um folks would hope he goes to FSU, and finally a stocked OSU would be livable. Webb has successfully played the academic wedge, and the bad element cards. The academic card is laughable if you are playing div 1a football and you are not at Stanford, Duke, etc - most schools are similar. Further the questionable r/ships are based in Detroit, thus my gps shows a closer drive to a2 than el.  Dantonio like Tressell , focuses on very few kids that will be a good fit from all areas: football, cultural, academic as well personal relationships, and would drop a kid if one of following would be a risk. From msu insiders there is a quiet comfort that he still ends up there.

My personal op only - I hope the kid ends up where he is happy and can repair the relationship with the parents.

Best of luck .. And this is easily one of the best sports blogs on web.


MGM85's picture

On a separate Note - Can someone tell me about Nevada buck?

EDUGOON's picture

How well do we assume MM will take to coaching? If he refuses to listen to Mom and Dad advice about life and choices, what makes us think this kid is going to take to coaching? I feel as if this a case of a spolied 4-5 STAR recruit who has done what he's wanted for the past few years and been given a pass to do so! Even if it means defying his parents wishes. I mean as middle child of 3 when Mom and Dad sat me down or my brothers and said they had concerns it was our duty as there children to listen and take heed. His parents know something is a miss at MSU for there son.

Oh might I add, again Coach D who are you? You want a kid who's parents don't want there kid attending your school or playing for you? He preaches family? But wants to take a kid who family isnt interested in him. Right

"We Don't Believe You, You Need More People"- Hova #GOBUCKS #FreeElGuapo #Famthik

BuckeyeB9B82501's picture

Personally I really dont want him here at TOSU. The kid made his decision and that is MSU. I dont want a player to come into Ohio State and not be 100% (heart and mind) "happy" with his decision. There will be no 100% commited to the program; he will not work as hard as one would who is "all in". His heart is with Sparty and sounds as if his head is the same. Let the young man play where he is 100% commited to. He has all the talent in the world and will be a very good player. We all wish him the best of luck but his parents should get behind him and support his decision.

Buckeye Dynasty starts in 2014 baby !!!!!! GO BUCKS !!!!!!!! O - H - I - O

-1 HS