BBrown: Malik McDowell In: The Shortest Text Conversation Ever

Submitted by Brandon Brown on December 5th, 2013 at 8:10 PM

I exchanged a few text messages with 2014 DL Malik McDowell after he released his Top 7 that included Michigan. The conversation was less than intriguing but this was the first time McDowell has responded to me in quite a long time. I will post the text conversation exactly how it went down to depict the feel of our interaction. Just pretend you are looking at an iPhone screen.


Hey Malik is there any order to your top 7??


Are you planning on announcing at your All-American game?


Oh ok...when are you going to make your decision you think?


A lot of people think you are a Michigan lean what do you think about that?


That marked the end of our conversation. As I have mentioned before this is very different from how he used to respond to me and answer my inquiries. He's always been tough to get a bead on but now I really have no idea who he likes or where he might commit.

I will stand by my theory. If a recruit responds to me openly, often, and punctually it has almost always led to good things. (Drake Harris, Chase Winovich, Wilton Speight, Moe Ways, Jabrill Peppers, Tyree Kinnel, Lawrence Marshall, Mason Cole) On the flip side, when communication really slows or never really takes off in the first place, that has usually led to a different destination other than Michigan. (Da'Shawn Hand, Damon Webb, Sam Mustipher, Jimmie Swain, Jamarco Jones, etc.) Those are just a few examples.



December 5th, 2013 at 10:08 PM ^

Narduzzi won't be there long but Mattison/Hoke will be.MsU will NEVER play for a national title, M will.It's a 5 year plan,and kids gotta realize 3 years in to this they will be here for 5 years in most cases.Think long term,but the majority(like people in general) usually don't.


December 6th, 2013 at 8:30 AM ^

but your staements are just wishful thinking.

MSU has had a better defense for the past 5 years.
MSU has a ridiculously better defense this year.
MSU has proved it has better defensive coaches.
MSU has made no indication it will be without Narduzzi's services for the forseeable future.
MSU has shown no indication it won't be better for the next 5 years as well.

Unless a recruit grew up loving Michigan, or actually wants a higher quality education, I don't see why any defensive recruit (particularly in the midwest) wouldn't choose MSU over Michigan.


December 5th, 2013 at 8:31 PM ^

doesn't negate the sentiment. I get it, you get a lot of flak, but you should just ignore them. They're people on the internet. Posting something like that is asking for a fight.


December 6th, 2013 at 12:36 AM ^

exist but I also think that posters have done a very terrible job of bringing up those criticisms in an appropriate manner. I think that if more people spoke with respect and decency, the criticisms would be perceived with more validity than they are now.

And note, I'm not saying that you are part of the group that does not have ability to show decency. I'm speaking more about the problem in general.


December 5th, 2013 at 8:32 PM ^

I'm sorry, I hope this does not come off as smartass or ignorant, but the set up of your post just comes off as highly unprofessional.

I respect that you have a tough job, especially dealing with one of the largest and most passionate fan bases in all of sports. And we can become especially insensitive on the internet where we can hide under a certain layer of anonymity. That doesn't mean you should stoop to that level with passive agressive remarks.

In regards to recruiting, your track record does speak for itself. That being said, if I were in Malik's shoes, and I saw how you posted this conversation and how you interpreted it, I would not particularly feel like talking to you. It would not reflect on my feelings towards the school; but when making what will be one of the most important decisions of my life, speaking to someone who handles things in this manner would not be a priority for me.

All of the work you do around here is appreciated, and I hope that you can learn to ignore the ignorance you are faced with.

Brandon Brown

December 5th, 2013 at 8:37 PM ^

I debated on whether to include the last comment or not but the way I went about it before wasn't accepted by some for whatever reason so why not? 

Either way I'm not going to stop doing what I'm supposed to. I just thought I'd try the 8 Mile approach. "I know everything he's about to say against me."


December 5th, 2013 at 8:33 PM ^

Next time, BBrown posts just the general gist of the conversation and whiny MGoPopulace will be all "OMG WHY DON'T YOU POST THE ACTUAL TEXTS INSTEAD OF YOUR INTERPRETATION". 



December 5th, 2013 at 8:34 PM ^

But it looks like it will shape up as a good year. As soon as Hoke can start winning more he will go back to having great recruiting classes.

Hoke and his coaches won't leave shortages in the team.


December 5th, 2013 at 8:35 PM ^

You would hope that such a pace could be kept up at the collegiate level (maybe not likely), but MaxPreps had some of his stats from his high school career (nothing for this year) and the 36 TFLs and 139 tackles in the last two seasons seem pretty good for a DE even if it is high school. Does anyone know what his defensive stats look like this year?


December 5th, 2013 at 8:44 PM ^

If I don't want to talk to someone, I just don't text back. I wouldn't take short texts one way or another. He asked yes-or-no questions and got yes-or-no answers. What would you expect?


December 5th, 2013 at 8:49 PM ^

I think you should take this down. I didnt see in your conversation where you asked for his consent to publish it. It does not matter how long his responses were. This seems very unprofessional and disrespectful, and perhaps a violation of his rights. 


December 5th, 2013 at 9:00 PM ^

Ok, thanks for the info. I didnt see this in the text. But, perhaps he knows this from past conversations - which means you two have a professional ongoing relationship. But I am still concerned whether he knew the conversation woudl be published or not. If he had known, he might have wanted to comport himself better, such as giving more explanation or fuller answers. Anyway, if he has the expectation from past conversations that the conversation might be published, then its not a big deal. 


December 5th, 2013 at 10:10 PM ^

And while I hate to be one to yell wolf when there is none, if a private text conversation is published publically, arent there some legal issues if there isn't an understanding it will be released?

This could be wildly off-base, but I wouldn't want Mgoblog to face any issues.


December 5th, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

It doesn't respect the guy's privacy and it doesn't provide any new information. We already knew McDowell had gone somewhat cold on Michigan.

The only thing this does is set Brandon up to be able to say "I told you so" when McDowell commits elsewhere.


December 5th, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

and though some may disagree about the 'style points' of posting the actual texts, the substance is critical.   thank you.

incidentally, there is no 'violation of his rights' issue with showing a text, so don't worry about that.




December 5th, 2013 at 8:53 PM ^

I have to agree with the sentiments of others.  It's pretty clear from the conversation that permission was not given from the student-athlete, so to post a transcript of your "conversation" with him is quite the invasion of privacy.  His responses basically are screaming "leave me alone and quit texting me," especially after considering that he had been ignoring previous texts.   If I were the student-athlete, advising the student-athlete or a coach/teacher of the student-athlete I would immediately tell him to never talk to you again and spread that advice to other student-athletes.

I know we're in the Twitter age and I'm a total proponent of texting/Twitter/etc.  However, the level of unprofessionalism in this reporting is jarring. 

Maybe some light can be shed on me, but not only is this concerning to me as an educator of high school student-athletes, it's concerning to me as a Michigan alumnus.  I would suspect there's a very gray line this type of reporting flirts with in regards to boosters contacting recruits.

Brandon Brown

December 5th, 2013 at 9:02 PM ^

I always tell the recruits my position with MGoBlog and my reason for asking them questions. They know that I am reporting on their recruitment and that I am posting it to the site. I even send them the link once it's been posted. Posting our conversations (not sure why that needed quotation marks in your comment) whether it be a text or a phone call is what I always do and they are well aware of that. This really is a non-issue.

Bando Calrissian

December 5th, 2013 at 9:12 PM ^

My $.02, meaning nothing personal about it: If you really think this was the right thing to do, maybe you shouldn't be texting recruits while representing MGoBlog, and by inference, the University and its fanbase.

Now, I'm a person who veers on the side of giving kids space in the recruiting process, so my views on how people like you should be contacting teenagers like Malik McDowell are a bit on the conservative side. But even at that, this just seems over the line. 


December 5th, 2013 at 10:16 PM ^

It really should be clarified ahead as an interview that will be published if the conversation will be relayed verbatim. Also, if you send him a link to this, how do you think reading this report/post reflects on Mgoblog and Michigan, tangentially, as an impression he would get?