With offers from both Michigan and Ohio State, the recruitment of Malik McDowell could prove to be an interesting tussle between two great rivals.
The number one prospect in the state of Michigan is thought to be a heavy Michigan lean due to his Detroit roots, but the defensive end may also be enamored by the great coaching skills of one Urban Meyer.
McDowell, the 6'7", 295-pound defensive end told Bill Kurelic of 247sports.com: “Ohio State, Michigan, LSU, Alabama, Wisconsin, I liked those schools growing up."
McDowell goes on to say that he was a big fan of Meyer when he won his National Championship's with the Florida Gators.
He has no current leaders in the recruiting chase for his services and that could set up a potential battle between Ohio State and Michigan.
Michigan have been raiding Ohio for their very best talent of late and just very recently landed Michael Ferns, so I'm sure Meyer would like to do all he can to poach the very best in-state talent from Michigan.
McDowell is ranked as the number two strong-side defensive end prospect and the number 23 overall player in 247sports 2014 rankings.
Kurelic concedes that it's unlikely that any team can steal McDowell way from Michigan but that Ohio State might be the only team actually capable of doing so.
Brady Hoke has rejuvenated Michigan's recruiting efforts and has pushed Michigan back ahead of Ohio State in the recruiting sweepstakes for the first time in years, so he won't let up.
Allen Trieu of scout.com felt that McDowell may have been the best player at the Elite Big Man Camp.
As reported by Sam Webb of www.detroitnews.com, Trieu also said:
"He first came on my radar after last summer's Toledo camp when everybody said the best lineman there was a freshman." "I went and saw him in person last season and witnessed what everyone was talking about. Later I saw him at the Elite Big Man Camp in Wixom, and then the Adidas Invitational in Ann Arbor last weekend. He was great at both — probably more so in Wixom because he got more reps. He went up against some older guys who are committed to BCS schools like Steve Elmer (Notre Dame) and Jesse Chadwell (Illinois), and did well against each of them. Other than one or two reps, he really wasn't stopped all day."
Loyola high school coach John Callahan also told Webb that he thinks McDowell has all the potential in the world and has the frame to top 300-pounds:
"He has a frame where if you look at him he looks like he is only 240, but he is 272 now," said Callahan. "He's got a frame that can carry 300-plus, and I know he is still growing. Who knows in two years what he is going to end up being? He is dedicated in the weight room and does a great job with our lifting. I think that in itself has led to a great improvement in his size and his quickness. If he stays committed the way he has been, the sky's the limit for him."
A boyhood Michigan fan and not yet ready to make a decision, Brady Hoke and company must be pulling out all the stops to get a commitment from McDowell, whenever he gets around to it.