McDowell told Marshall he would pick UM (pre-announcement)

Submitted by Wee-Bey Brice on February 6th, 2014 at 3:34 PM

As if the recruitment of Malik McDowell needed anymore "Wait... What?!" moments, TheWolverine released an interview with Lawrence Marshall earlier that included a pretty shocking quote:

"I told him he should go there if he wanted to - I'm happy for him at MSU," Marshall said. That was the school he wanted to go to. But he came to school today and was basically telling me he was going to Michigan. When the letter was on the table and he signed it, I thought he was going to Michigan.

When I first got there this morning he was leaning toward Michigan and telling me he was going to Michigan, so when he announced it, I was shocked."

Wait...WHAT?! I am now trapped in a glass case of emotion. It should be noted that McDowell's LOI is still not in, so who knows where he will end up.



February 6th, 2014 at 4:45 PM ^

6. He never signs his LOI, shows up at MSU in the fall, and gets put on scholarship at that point without his parents' signatures.

This course of action means that no commitment is being made ahead of time on either parties' part, but he doesn't actually need his parent(s) to sign to receive a scholarship come fall. Not that this is a good outcome for their family, but if both he and his mom remain steadfast in their current opinions, could be what shakes out.


February 6th, 2014 at 4:50 PM ^

You've left out what is a very real possibility: He goes to MSU without ever having signed an NLI. As of this morning, that's what Sam Webb was predicting was the likely outcome. Sam said he doesn't think he ends up at another school, and he doesn't think Michigan is "in play." Podcast is here (skip to ~2:10).

Keep in the mind that Sam correctly predicted that if McDowell picked MSU, he wouldn't be sending in a signed NLI yesterday. He's talked to McDowell's parents numerous times.


February 6th, 2014 at 6:50 PM ^

7. Malik realizes his mother, who is much wiser than he, knows whats best for him and he commits and signs with Michigan. He wins a national championship with a great defense anchored in the secondary by Jabrill Peppers, then he leaves for the NFL draft and picked by the Detroit Lions 21st overall and wins a super bowl in year 2 with Detroit.


February 6th, 2014 at 4:33 PM ^

This seems even worse than that the Landon Collins thing back in 2012, because other than his mother's on-screen display of disgust, Collins ended up at Alabama all the same. I rather feel bad for McDowell because his decisions on his future are taking a back seat to a lot of unnecessary drama like this. I dare say that this seems rather selfish of his mother (without knowing the specific reason she objects, it is hard for it to look otherwise, in my opinion), and that's very unfortunate that McDowell's future is still not certain because of it. 

Yahoo! Sports ran a nice piece with some background quotes here - (LINK). I sincerely hope this gets worked out and he is able to get on with pursuing what he feels is the best choice for him. 



February 6th, 2014 at 4:50 PM ^

His dad is tremendous:

Look, he made his decision.  I'm proud of him and stand by him.  He stood up like a man and made a decision.  He's a young man that made his decision and I stand by him.  I wanted him to go out of state to experience things away from his family but he's a man,  he made his decision, and I'm happy he'll be close to home.  I support him.  He's a man who made his decision.  Support.  Decision.  Young man.  Decision.  Support.


February 6th, 2014 at 4:35 PM ^

Could be Malik was just gaming Marshall, in keeping with the rivalry. I imagine he wouldn't be the first kid to fake out a teammate headed to a rival.


February 6th, 2014 at 4:37 PM ^

He needs to make a decision. He's got to realize that no school is going to be perfect. It's not like he had only a day to make this decision, it's been years. Choose your school and move on.


February 6th, 2014 at 5:03 PM ^

I may be in the minority here, but I think this is partly what is wrong with recruiting. I mean no offense to the poster I am responding to, but who are you or who are we to say that he needs to do anything. We are mere observers, mere onlookers and fans with the privilege of watching these players make their real life decisions. These kids owe us nothing at this point. There is no rule that says someone has to sign on signing day. It seems like people think just because most kids do means that they all should. He's making a decision that will literally affect him for the remainder of his young life. We have nothing to say in the matter, and, frankly, no right to say it. He needs to do what is best for him and his future. If he needs more time that is his prerogative, not ours.

I, of course, hope he picks Michigan and, unlike some anonymous online posters, I will not rush to any character judgments based on his decision timeline or any of the other limited facts we know about him or any recruit. We never know the whole story. No matter what happens I hope he makes the best decision for him.

Go blue!

Bando Calrissian

February 6th, 2014 at 4:40 PM ^

The longer and longer this goes, the less and less this becomes a decision that is best for Malik's interests. The longer the recruiting gurus are trying to pry themselves into the equation, the longer the message board threads get, the more and more it's talk radio fodder, the less Malik's interests are met.

Honestly, is anything else we need to know about why college football recruiting is out of hand?


February 6th, 2014 at 5:16 PM ^

We have a class full of kids that want to be here, are already tight, and are part of the Michigan team.  We don't need a split personality.  Focus on DL for the class of 15 that GET what going to Michigan means and GET all the opportunities it brings.  Done!


February 6th, 2014 at 5:44 PM ^

But I can relate. My daughter has in mind her preferred list of colleges and majors, I have mine. Based on the criteria she has given me, what she wants to study, what she really likes most and what she doesn't, I think her list is flawed. But, every time I explain that to her, she gets angry and defensive. It's the age. I can well imagine that the added pressure of being so highly recruited is more than stressful.


February 6th, 2014 at 5:52 PM ^

My daughter decided to enlist in the Navy, and said, in so many words, "You can't stop me." While I was less than thrilled with her choice a year or so ago, it has worked out pretty well, and will allow her to afford going to college most anywhere she can get into. (Plus her training in networking with the Aegis Missle system gives her some decent experience and a leg up in some computer careers.) The point is, we didn't force her to do something she didn't want to do. I would want McDowell's own choices to be honored, by both us and his family.


February 6th, 2014 at 6:22 PM ^

In the end, it really has to be her decision. In my daughter's case, she wants to be a classically trained, operatic soprano. She has the chops for it. However, she is worried about her ability to make a living (a wise insight at her age) and is thinking about music education as a minor. That would be fine, except she has no interest in teaching, particularly at the elementary level, which is where she would no doubt start out.

But, she has a gift for math and science and Johns Hopkins is recruiting her heavily. There is almost no doubt she will be offered a scholarship if she at least double majors, with math or science as one of her degree programs. JHU has a terrific music conservatory, the Peabody Institute, as well. My daughter's heart, though, is with neither JHU nor Baltimore. Her alternatives aren't bad, but they don't have JHU's reputation.

I don't want her to pursue something that would be a bad fit for her, but I am also aware of the likelihood that she would realize many more opportunities with JHU on her diploma. U-M is also a possibility, but after working with the School of Music last year (as a sophomore) she lost much of her interest.



February 6th, 2014 at 7:01 PM ^

Has she explored the possibility of music therapy? It is a growing field, recognized by the medical community. A lot of it is finding music or collections of sound that helps with rehab, stress disorders, trauma, etc. There is a strong collaborative aspect with many different types of health care. Several of my friends have gone into it instead of the traditional performance and/or education track and love it.

Another option I would suggest is performing arts technology (PAT). There are many sub-disciplines, including electronic music composition, recording, sound and stage design, mixing, etc. If she likes math and science PAT is a viable field - anyone who records anything needs first-rate engineers to make sure that it is properly balanced, in tune, and so forth.

Michigan has a top-notch PAT program, but I do not know about music therapy options in AA.


February 6th, 2014 at 7:41 PM ^

I had never really heard about music therapy until she mentioned it (I had this bad vision of it being a new age, crystal worshipping career for hucksters). I have since found out I was wrong and by bringing it up, you've confirmed what I have since learned about the career path. It is certainly an option for her and I think she would enjoy it much more than teaching.


February 6th, 2014 at 8:04 PM ^

One question to ask is, "How many degrees would you like to earn before working in the field?" If she wants to be a traditional vocal performance major, she can expect to certainly get a master's degree, and most likely a DMA and/or some time in a Young Artist's Program (YAP). These are journeyman art organizations designed to give young graduates of conservatories stage time as they work their way up to the Metropolitan Operas of the world. Some, but not all, pay their artists. Employment tends to be seasonal. I played in a YAP (pit orchestra) after I graduated and had a wonderful time. To be considered is the stress, expense, auditions, 10+ year time commitment before breaking in, etc. The human voice does not fully mature as an operatic musical instrument until the 30s.

On the other hand, having an undergrad degree in music therapy may be enough to find employment. I'm not an authority on the subject but the field is new enough that there is opportunity out there and it is relatively free of the 400-people-apply-for-one-spot scenarios many performance majors face.

One last thing - majoring in something other than performance does not stop one from taking performance classes. In the case of vocalists, this takes the form of weekly coachings with a studio voice teacher, one-on-one. In fact, if she got into a good studio but was not a performance major, she may not even have to sing in a school of music choir (most of the voice majors I knew at M were not pleased about this requirement).


February 6th, 2014 at 8:05 PM ^

many good reasons for her having chosen military service, none of them included looking forward to the night life and partying.

You didn't imply that she was 17 and that you were required to give your consent, so I take it that wasn't the case.  Had she spoke about looking forward to the nightlife of Norfolk, VA, or the party atmosphere of San Diego, and had she been 17, do you think you would have signed on the dotted line granting your consent?



February 6th, 2014 at 10:01 PM ^

It's kind of bizarre that parental consent is required at all.  My daughter was 16 when she started at MSU, and I'm pretty sure there was no parental consent required (I honestly don't recall for sure; it's been several years). The only thing I recall signing was a form to allow her to make medical decisions on her own behalf.  But, she was mature beyond her years and studious enough to earn a full ride out- of- state scholarship, so the only qualms we had was that she would be going to school about 1,000 miles away from home.  Also, she never had an issue with immaturity or hanging around with partiers and goof-offs. If she had, My wife and I would have done everything in our power to make sure she was in an environment that would maximize her chances of safely and successfully completing her degree.


February 6th, 2014 at 5:49 PM ^

It sounds like Malik has had a change of heart a few times during this process. I read a Detroit News article (Link), which had quotes from Malik about MSU not always being his first choice, and there was no major reason why he decided to pick MSU. Then, the article goes on to mention Malik and his friend, Jamal Lyles, having a good talk about State's family atmosphere. The same Jamal who was mentored by Larry Foote and definitely wanted a Michigan offer...


February 6th, 2014 at 5:53 PM ^

5* player.  We need more of them.  As others have said, if this were a case of legal issues or questions about qualifying, then take a pass.  But he is 17.  I don't buy the "...if he doesn't want to be here" mindset.  MSU is the flavor of the month.  If nothing else, Marshall's comments confirm that.  Get him on campus, he'll make friends on the team, go to some good parties, meet some pretty girls and that'll be that.  It's not as if he'd wallow through the next four years wishing he could be in EL.

turd ferguson

February 6th, 2014 at 5:56 PM ^

I've avoided these conversations, but I hope that Hoke continues to recruit him.  From what I've read (admittedly not very much), it seems like the only thing keeping him from Michigan - and causing so much conflict within his family - is his sense that MSU is more fun.  

If I'm close to right about that, then if anything I'd only increase my recruitment of him.  I'd encourage him spend a few nights in Ann Arbor to get a realistic look at how amazing life here tends to be.


February 6th, 2014 at 6:13 PM ^

Right now I don't care where he goes. Just hope he straightens things out with his mom. I don't know what I would have done if my mother or father weren't supporting me while starting college.


February 6th, 2014 at 6:19 PM ^

I heard this on a radio show yesterday. The MSU guy they had on thought that if was only a matter of McDowell's mother getting on board. Which seems to maybe have a bigger impact than I thought.


February 6th, 2014 at 6:37 PM ^

Have you guys listened to her? I just feel bad for the kid at this point. I think she might be legit crazy. I was watching the detroit news article where she was arguing with sparty fans. Her facebook profile at that time was public. She was telling sparty fans that their mothers should have swallowed them. Matt Dery (radio) wouldn't let her on the show because she was swearing too much earlier this week when she was about to do an interview. She didn't even go to his announcement ceremony. Just seems like a total brat to me. If malik's dad sucks it up and says he is fine with sparty, i think she should just sign. Terrible she does this all in public though. Just my two cents.


February 6th, 2014 at 6:51 PM ^

The kid is in a very spot right now..even if he eventually goes to msu, his mom will never be able to go to his gamea after what she has said about msu fans and the school itself..she also is putting his life on the line as there are pissed off dumb msu fans out there who dont even want this kid anymore and saying threatning suggestion is Malik pack ur bags an head out as far as possible from this crazy family....i say go to FSU and enjoy sunshine state where girls have real tan

State Street

February 6th, 2014 at 6:59 PM ^

If Mr. and Mrs. McDowell put the same amount of effort into parenting their child as they do bitching about where he wants to go to college, maybe they wouldn't be in this position.

Then again, from the way they act, the fact that they are in this position isn't surprising.


February 6th, 2014 at 9:55 PM ^

the impression Joya Crowe has been practicing parenting right to the last.  Parenting isn't about giving children everything they want, it's about giving them what they need.  From everything that has been said and indicated, it seems to me she believes Malik needs to honestly explore exactly why he's choosing one school over another.


February 6th, 2014 at 8:27 PM ^

All signs point to McDowell eventually ending up at MSU. From yet another article:

Malik McDowell remained committed to Michigan State on Thursday but until he convinces his mother that MSU is the right place for him, his letter-of-intent remains incomplete.

But his father, Greg McDowell, indicated there could be a resolution by early next week -- maybe sooner -- that would allow his talented son to end up at Michigan State.

“We’re not looking that far ahead,” Greg McDowell said. “We have a 14-day process to get it done. Hopefully by Monday it’ll happen. Maybe by the weekend. She wants to get more out of Malik on why he likes Michigan State.”

The only thing I wonder about here is the "14-day process" that's mentioined. I believe NLIs are good for 7 days, but another one can always be issued. So I'm not sure why the 14 days. Unless—and this seems unlikely—MSU has asked the family to come to a resolution one way or another by a certain date, or else they're moving on.

Also, this quote from the father is interesting, expecially the last sentence:

“My son understands what he needs to do when he gets there. It’s rough for a kid. He’s being pushed and prodded. It’s her job to ensure the safety of her son. Terrible things have been said about her, on social media and the radio. Malik is upset with all the State fans going after his mom.”